There is trouble in paradise as oil, murder, and long-lived shadowy cabals overshadow Trinidad just as UpLink is setting up an installation. Wild Card is the eighth and final installment of the Power Plays series written by Jerome Preisler as Pete Nimec goes to Trinidad on a working vacation and steps into international intrigue while suspended Tom Ricci goes renegade to rescue a kidnapped daughter for a small-time Mexican cartel leader.
Over two centuries ago, a French nobleman living on Trinidad and an English pirate form a partnership that their descendants continue by selling oil to rogue nations that the United States have put an embargo on. A Trinidadian Jarvis Lenard escapes from a rogue element within a high-end resort’s security force after his cousin attempted to blow the whistle and was murdered, staying for weeks in a nature preserve causing fits to the rouge security force. Pete Nimec is sent to look at the new UpLink project in Trinidad as well as figure out about the mysterious emails they received, he sees an oil transfer not knowing at the time what he saw but later figures it out, but the rogue security teams aims to kill him and his wife while they’re enjoying the resort. Nimec and his wife escape on a boat, making their way to the nature preserve where Lenard is hiding and swims out to them as Sword helicopters come in and scare off the rogue security team’s helicopter. Meanwhile Tom Ricci is on leave from UpLink after saving New York City because he did so without letting local, state, and federal authorities as well as the company know what was happening. Ricci links up with the former DEA agent that has helped him on two previous occasions, helping save a kidnapped young woman whose father is a Mexican cartel leader while starting a friendship with Julia Gordian.
Unlike the previous book in the series, the three subplots that were not only worth their print on paper but came together to create a satisfying whole. The first and only prologue in the series that showed the creation of the centuries-old partnership between the families of a French nobleman and an English pirate that had their descendants coming up with this oil smuggling scheme that is found out. While the character development was sparse for returning characters, one-off characters had development put into them—especially Jarvis. If this was written to be a quick page turner it succeeded but given the scattered shot subplots not only in this book but the previous one the well of ideas had run out for the series.
Wild Card is the final book of the Power Plays series, the ending of which was written in a way so that Jerome Preisler could either continue it or not depending on the publisher. While a drastic improvement over the previous book in the series, this book showed that the series did not have enough legs to continue.