The Devils of China Lake is a captivating narrative of the search for Kenneth Thomas (missing fourteen years) by lawyer Jack Matthews and his companion, Emily Holly. Their search commences when Jack agrees to look into the matter on behalf of Kenneth's wife (who might now be Kenneth's widow). Seemingly it was a simple, low risk assignment. Jack questions that conclusion upon learning that Ken's facial features are almost too similar to his own - especially when he discovers that Kenneth had been secretly involved in obscure, high risk projects for the FBI and that the repercussions are being passed on to Jack. Matthew's quest leads to a strange cavern search on a naval weapons test range, the interrogation of a paranoid and angry book vendor, the murder of one of Jack's associates and the apparent kidnapping of another, deadly altercations with MS 13 gang members followed by an episode in a Navy chopper in actual combat, and a treacherous meeting with the gang's revenging kingpin. Although a man of ordinary capabilities, Matthews rises to extraordinary challenges. He's an amiable, down-to-earth lawyer who somehow has a knack for slipping in and out of the most severe difficulties. The novel's good characters are people you'd like to know. Cate's style provides an easy, intriguing read for his readers. The story's ending and its epilogue leave readers more than satisfied and eagerly awaiting Cate's next novel.