The Program safeguards the truth, but when The Program has a hidden agenda, the protected become the hunted
With his nuanced psychological insight, inscrutable plotting, and a captivating lead character that parallels Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware, Stephen White's Alan Gregory novels have become perennial national bestsellers. But, with The Program, White has challenged himself and honed his craft with remarkable assurance to create a rare breed of thriller. A dazzling mix of first-person and omniscient voices rewards readers with an irresistible narrative momentum. But the heart and soul of the novel is an indomitable woman reevaluating the seemingly innocuous choices she's made in the past while confronting the horrifying circumstances that threaten her family's future survival.
"Every precious thing I lose, you will lose two." The Program begins with a condemned man's last words to New Orleans District Attorney Kirsten Lord. After her husband is gunned down in front of her, Lord has no choice but to flee the wrath of the murderer's vengeance. Lord pulls up stakes, changes her name, and accepts the Witness Protection Program's offer to hide her and her young daughter in Boulder, Colorado. Soon thereafter, they are befriended by Program veteran Carl Luppo, a solitary mob assassin tormented by his former life who has nothing but time for regret.
Sensing that someone inside the program has compromised Lord and her daughter's safety, Luppo takes on the role of sentinel, fully realizing that this may be his last shot at redemption. Even though Lord suspects that Luppo's warnings about the Program's dark side are justified and that she should believe the former hit man's instincts, the only people she can really trust are her nine-year-old daughter and perhaps her Program-appointed psychologist Alan Gregory.
Fans of White's previous work will applaud the brilliant use of series favorite Alan Gregory in a seemingly secondary role in the novel, and new readers will find themselves compelled to find out what Gregory has encountered before. But all readers will agree that The Program is a superior thriller; a novel firmly grounded in the realities of three-dimensional characters in crisis and driven with the narrative pace of a guilty pleasure.