The latest from Brain Haig brings back Major Sean Drummond currently on loan to the CIA's Office of Special Projects. Summoned to accompany FBI Agent Jennifer Margold, he is his usual anti-authority mouthy self when taken to a crime scene in suburban Washington. Six people are dead including the White House Chief of Staff. If that wasn't bad enough, a message was left behind threatening to kill the President within 48 hours.
Not only did they promise to kill the President, the assassination team plans to collect on an Internet website bounty offer of $100 million for the deed. Whoever ran the site, which was up for a matter of days before it vanished, is long gone and untraceable. Those that knew of the site and Sean Drummond did not, believed the site and the offer a hoax. Based on the carnage at the crime scene, which includes the assigned protective detail of four FBI agents, others took it seriously and fully intend to collect.
As always happens when the problem is big and about to become very pubic in the media, an interagency task force is created to spread blame and accountability. Sean Drummond, a natural loner with an ability to figure out baffling cases, is assigned to work with Agent Margold. Like the entire task force, the two seem constantly behind and getting nowhere as the assassination team strikes again and again raising the body count and causing panic in the media and in the government.
This is an intense novel that constantly encourages the reader to turn the page as Sean Drummond and others chase clues and suspects across the country and back to Washington. While little new is added to the Sean Drummond character, most of the other characters seem cut from the typical thriller stereotypes. Agent Margold with her expertise in profiling comes from a troubled background. George Meany, who happens to be Margold's boss, is still the vain, petty little man and typical of all such bureaucrats everywhere. Numerous other examples exist in the novel and will become obvious to readers. Complex character development is not a requisite of a thriller and it certainly isn't here.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing because, at least in this case, it allows the author to concentrate on creating tension and a twisting read that will catch most readers totally unaware in its shocking conclusion. This is an excellent example of how a thriller can be done and done well.
This entire review previously appeared online at the vacant funhouse.
I won't bother with the recap as most other reviewers have already done it. Suffice it to say that Sean Drummond is back. This thriller left me strangely unhappy. While there was nothing wrong with the premise of the storyline and the nice little detours it took (just when you thought you had it figured out), I felt as though the main character (Sean) was kind of a farce in this book. He was far from being deep in any meaningful … more