First Against the Wall is the sixth book in The Administration series and IMO the BEST so far. Manna Francis has written a brilliant, kick ass book with a fascinating plot while continuing to delve deeper into her character's psyche. There's non-stop suspense from the first page up until the very end.
The story begins with Toreth beaten and held captive in a cell at I&I. The Administration, including I&I have been taken over by the resisters. The Revolution to stop The Administration's oppression has begun, with Toreth smack in the middle of it all. There's complete chaos at I&I and killing the para-investigators is at the top of the resister's list. Ironically, the resisters and civilians become everything they despise about I&I.
The man currently in charge at I&I for the "new" Administration is none other than Toreth's nemesis, Carnac. This was an "Oh Fuck" moment. The games have now begun and I loved every minute of it. The head games these two played were so compelling that it had me completely enthralled the entire time. They both played dirty and used whoever and whatever they could to win but Carnac had the advantage, he knows Toreth's biggest weakness - Warrick. Carnac hits below the belt and hurts Toreth in ways that I never saw coming and leaves scars behind that I'm afraid will never go away.
No matter who Toreth hurts along the way, I always find myself rooting for him. This is a testament of what an outstanding author Manna Francis truly is. Toreth tortures people for a living, he uses people for whatever he needs and doesn't give them a second thought. In the end, his pain was so heart-breaking I couldn't feel anything but sympathy and love for him.
One thing I did miss was seeing more of Warrick's POV. I would have liked to have heard more about his struggle with Toreth's plans and his feelings toward the "new" Administration. However, it didn't take away from the book.
This was a crazy roller coaster ride packed with psychological head games, betrayal, pain, and love. There are non-stop twists and turns with an unexpected ending that left me speechless.
I can't wait to see what's in store for Toreth and Warrick next.