Turbo Vlost is back. He’s depressed, drinking too much and terrified that Victoria is truly gone. He’s also trying not to get drawn too far into working for billionaire hedge fund manager Sebastian Leitz, a friend of his partner, Foos, and another outsized genius. “It’s not a proverb but it should be,” he says, “you can’t peel back an onion without drawing tears.”
Hired to test the security of Leitz’s computer system, Turbo finds himself slicing through the fetid layers of an Austrian immigrant family living the American dream—while misery and remorse torment every member. The Leitzs’ demons all seem to originate from the same event years before—an episode no one wants to talk about, or even acknowledge.
Turbo isn’t the only one interested in the Leitzs. The Baltic Enterprise Commission—the Belarus-based shadowy hoster of online sleaze (phishers, spammers, pornographers), and target of Victoria’s U.S. Attorney’s office—has its claws in Leitz’s brother-in-law. So, it appears, does Leitz’s brother. And Leitz’s son, a teen-aged computer-whiz at an elite New England prep school, is running a scheme with his Russian girlfriend, who has her own family ties to the BEC, that’s netted them $22 million so far, with more cash flowing in.
Thanks to his own legwork and Foos’s data-mining monster, the Basilisk, Turbo can see all the cards. But to play the hand he has to join the kind of game he recognizes from his childhood in the Gulag—one where the odds can suddenly grow short and losers don’t always come out alive.