Hugh Brier is a simple, but deep, man out-of-sync with a world where secrets are ubiquitous and important enough to kill for.
For the last twelve months Hugh has contracted his time to a private think tank called the Merit Group. There he’s called Clarity, but he feels he’s fallen well short of that mark.
It’s Hugh’s last day at Merit and he’s both relieved and wistful. His employer is throwing a huge celebration while it’s in a fight for its life against unknown adversaries. A group of intelligence leakers have pushed secrets from Merit clients into the public eye, which embarrasses, enrages, and endangers. Though Hugh doesn’t know it yet, the situation is devolving. Soon enough, the gamesmanship between Merit and its enemy will trigger an accident of staggering violence.
Hugh is already looking at a Merit-free future. He wants to put his broken family back together. However, that doesn’t seem possible as his wife, Maggie, is still hiding from him.
What he doesn’t want, but receives anyway, is an odd job offer from a man Hugh is right to be wary of. Andrew Pallin, who set in motion the death of three of Hugh’s friends and nearly convinced the justice system that Hugh was responsible, is dying. Pallin extends a stunning offer to Hugh, assuming the offer's real. It seems that Pallin has grown a conscience and wants to use the remainder of his once-vast fortune to fix the problems he caused during his long life. He wants Hugh to dole out the cash, all forty million dollars of it.
As Hugh has forty million items on his mind, he doesn’t see the danger in his post-Merit life. Hugh will be attending two funerals in very short order. If he’s not careful, he could be the principal guest at a third.
Clarity Benefactor is the fourth book featuring Hugh Brier.