Maggie is given the unique opportunity to assassinate the very person who ordered her death two years ago. Valdev Belevich, the Russian crime boss, has never seen Maggie, which gives her an advantage. Still, because of the nature of casinos, the criminal element they attract, and facial recognition software, she must change her physical appearance as much as possible. The team is acutely aware the longer this mission takes, the longer Maggie is in danger of being recognized. Shep’s government contact told him the mission is not an option, it is a demand and they don’t want to know details. For Maggie, this is a personal job. Not only was she Belevich’s target two years ago, a hit he believes was successful, but he is the last link to the murder of a loved one. She is seeking revenge. It isn’t long upon the team’s arrival that Maggie finds the mission is more intricate than originally thought. It turns into a life changing event for her and Shep.
At 26, Maggie is now an adult and the mother of two children. Prior to this mission, she had re-enrolled at a university to finish her music degree. Her life is going in a positive direction until the assassination orders come down from Shep’s government contact and she must rejoin the team to go undercover. I wanted readers to see more of Maggie’s fragile side in this book. She has been through tremendous trauma in the previous books which were never fully resolved. As a black ops assassin, Maggie could always get through a mission with emotions in check. Because of the personal nature of this assignment and her driving need for revenge, it takes a toll on her emotionally. I wanted readers to see what happens when Maggie’s two worlds collide and how she copes with it.
By locating the casino near Oviedo, in Northern Spain, it adds an extra level of stress and melancholy for Maggie. Her mother’s birthplace, Malaga, in Southern Spain, is where Maggie found her extended family and where she lived for over a year and a half. Because she and her team brought down the Brotherhood, she had to cut all contact with her mother’s family. It also creates another level of danger for her being back in Spain, a country that is no longer welcoming to her. From a logistic standpoint, it made sense geographically for Belevich’s drug route to pass through the Oviedo area on its way to the Bay of Biscay. This ties him to the largest criminal family in Spain, the head of which resides in Oviedo.
Without giving away the ending to Subterfuge, Maggie encounters a man more evil and more dangerous than any previous foe. He is relentless and it will not be easy for her or Shep to escape him. Book five will find Maggie pitted against him. What he wants from her and what she discovers will be at the center of the plot.