Paul Madriani’s chance encounter with 26-year-old Katia Solaz, a Costa Rican beauty, leads to a desperate race to avoid not only personal disaster but also a national one in Martini’s sprawling 10th thriller to feature the Southern California defense attorney (after Shadow of Power). Katia, who’s living with creepy Emerson Pike, a man old enough to be her grandfather, in a dilapidated estate surrounded by an expensive security fence, decides to return home to Costa Rica. In her flight, she just misses running into the legendary assassin known as the Mexecutioner, who sneaks into Pike’s house. The naïve Katia and well-meaning Madriani, who meet in a grocery store, provide a welcome human element amid the busy action involving escaped Guantánamo prisoners, a Colombian rebel base, a Mexican drug cartel and a plot to bring the war home to the Great Satan via a nuclear device. Tidbits like how the FBI can use cellphones as remote bugging devices add to the fun.