Vandals. A Short Story by Olen Steinhauer

An estate in Sonoma becomes the site of an incident that will forever change undercover FBI agent Rachel Proulx.

Leaving the East Coast after a painful divorce, Rachel finds respite in a project to research and infiltrate revolutionary groups on the West Coast. Poking around bars in San Francisco brings her to a group of anti-capitalism/ anti-establishment activists. Words rarely meet actions until along comes Peter, a Serbian who is ready to move.

An impromptu night away in Wine County quickly turns awry, and Rachel must call for backup. Will she be exposed? Will the violence take her?

Vandals is an exceptional introduction to Rachel Proulx’s character and the world of Steinhauer’s latest, The Middleman, a novel I think very highly of. Rachel moves on after the events of this short story to become an expert in these undercover “revolutionary” groups. Her knowledge is used to track Massive Brigade, the central terrorist organization in Steinhauer’s new book.

Here’s my 5-star review of The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer.

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