This novel is about a woman who is able to handle herself quite well in federal prison. It is also connected to two very famous pieces of writing, "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas and Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy.
A woman is arrested in present-day Miami on charges of running a very sophisticated money-laundering operation. She refuses to cooperate with the authorities, but does give the impression that she may be actual royalty. At her arraignment, she represents herself. She shows that she knows, and can argue, the relevant law better than even a first-rate lawyer. Later in the book, she shaves her head to prevent the authorities from getting her DNA from a strand of her hair.
While in prison, and as an experienced hacker, she looks for dirt on the pair of FBI agents who arrested her. With access to seemingly unlimited amounts of money, she starts leaking high-level information to crusading journalist Steven Larsen, the only man who ever meant anything to her. Very strong precautions have to be taken, because this is the sort of information that could get any journalist on the assassination list of many governments. The connection between a present-day suspense story and a famous piece of 19th century literature comes near the end of the book.
Here is a first-rate piece of writing. I may be among the few people who have never read any of Mr. Larsson's books (I will have to do something about that). This book is very contemporary, and I look forward to reading the sequel.
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