16 August 2014

Just what the doctor ordered, in terms of a thriller to read on a brisk Saturday morning

Thriller | The President's Assassin | Brian Haig

So, another series thriller. Fortunately, Brian Haig writes series books that stand alone, so it was quite enjoyable. Unlike the previous book (I, Sniper), the humour in this book is an integral part of the writing. The dialogue is full of people sharpening their wits on each other. Sample page one when Sean Drummond, army lawyer and presently seconded to the CIA, meets his FBI counterpart en route to the scene of the crime:

“That's a lovely pistol you're carrying.”
No reply.
“The accessorized holster is nice, too.”
“Well ... they're FBI issue.”
“No kidding. Ever shoot anybody with it?”
“Not yet.” She gave me a brief glance. “You might be my first.”

And just like that, we understand that Jennifer Margold is not to be trifled with, and why his bosses are sick of Sean Drummond, and why we're going to like this book already.

Someone has just killed the Chief of Staff of the US President, his family, and his Secret Service detail. And left a note that  more killings will follow, with the President as the finale, in just two days.

Margold and Drummond have to battle not only the villains, but internal politics. The FBI profiler's team doesn't like her recent promotion, her boss has a history with Drummond and hates him already, and doesn't mind hating her as well. The two are clearly supposed to take the fall in case the villains really do succeed. High stakes detective work combine with snappy dialogue, and twists and turns almost worthy of Jeffrey Deaver (the dialogue is better). When all the villains are taken down (oh, come on, you know that will happen, it's not a spoiler), we're brought back to reality to ponder who wants to convince everyone Drummond is one of them, too. Yeah, it's not over. There are still forty pages to go.

Move over, M, Phyllis Carney is here. I loved Drummond's boss. She's sharp, old, and runs a tight ship. George Meany is well named, as Margold's boss and Drummond's love's ex-boyfriend. I enjoyed loving to hate him. I liked the resolution. Satisfactory, and tying up all the loose ends. And of course, I loved Drummond's incisive observations, witty lines and ability to cut through the crap. Just what a thriller should be.

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