Author: Max Allan Collins
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Type of book: not too distant future, mystery, plot driven, government, conspiracy, Supreme Justices, Roe vs Wade, murders, forensics, reading body language
Year it was published: 2014
After taking a bullet for his commander-in-chief, Secret Service agent Joseph Reeder is a hero. But his outspoken criticism of the president he saved—who had stacked the Supreme Court with hard-right justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, amp up the Patriot Act, and shred the First Amendment—put Reeder at odds with the Service’s apolitical nature, making him an outcast.
FBI agent Patti Rogers finds herself paired with the unpopular former agent on a task force investigating the killing of Supreme Court Justice Henry Venter. Reeder—nicknamed “Peep” for his unparalleled skills at reading body language—makes a startling discovery while reviewing a security tape: the shooting was premeditated, not a botched robbery. Even more chilling, the controversial Venter may not be the only justice targeted for death...
Is a mastermind mounting an unprecedented judicial coup aimed at replacing ultra-conservative justices with a new liberal majority? To crack the conspiracy and save the lives of not just the justices but also Reeder’s own family, rising star Rogers and legendary investigator Reeder must push their skills—and themselves—to the limit.
The main characters include Joe "Peep" Reeder who has talent for body language and what people mean. I really couldn't get a good handle on his personality, sorry to say. I know that he was born in 1985, I think, and he has an only daughter and a broken marriage. He is also best friends with Gabe Sloan. Patti Rodgers is someone who wants to fit more with boys and is tomboyish as well as health conscious. She is frustrated with Joe Reeder's ability and often trusts her instincts. Gabe Sloan is a conservative who has lost his daughter to botched abortion and who also asks Joe to help him out.
Tragedy has consequences
The book is written in third person narrative, primarily from Peep's point of view, although Patti Rogers and his daughter Amy do get some chance to show their point of view. In an odd way, the repeal of Wade vs Roe in the not too distant future seemed to somehow echo 1950s when abortion was done in the back alleys and women had a high chance of dying. Its quite ironic that the book was published when Hobby Lobby decision was made by Supreme Court. I really do wish that Amy would have gotten more screen-time rather than other characters. By the way, the book is more plot driven rather than character driven.
Max Allan Collins has earned fifteen Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective and Stolen Away, and receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. His graphic novel, Road to Perdition, the basis for the Academy Award–winning film starring Tom Hanks, was followed by two novels, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. His suspense series include Quarry, Nolan, Mallory, and Eliot Ness, and his numerous comics credits include the syndicated Dick Tracy and his own Ms. Tree. He has written and directed four feature films and two documentaries. His other produced screenplays include The Expert, an HBO World Premiere, and The Last Lullaby. His coffee-table book The History of Mystery received nominations for every major mystery award and Men’s Adventure Magazines won the Anthony. Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins. They have collaborated on seven novels and are currently writing the Trash ‘n’ Treasures mysteries.Opinion:
I'll admit that up until almost the end, the book is masterful and addictive. However, shortly before it was over and big revelations were made, the author seemed in a hurry to wrap it up because instead of finding motive piece by piece, which is what I prefer, the author instantly mentions why and so forth. Its what I might call the "summer read" of mystery/suspense/thriller genre, something that requires little thought as it gets read. The strengths of the book, in my opinion, include dialogue as well as some characters and the way I couldn't really figure out whether or not the book is pro-Conservative or pro-Liberal. The weakness is the ending and I feel that main characters aren't very fleshed out as I'd hoped. (Also, I wish that some characters did act more suspiciously instead of it being mentioned at the very end... and how were certain crimes set up as well?)
This is for TLC Book Tour
Max Allan Collins’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, June 16th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, June 18th: FictionZeal
Thursday, June 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, June 23rd: Reading Reality
Wednesday, June 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, June 26th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Friday, June 27th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, June 30th: Bookchickdi
Tuesday, July 1st: Bookish Ardour - excerpt
Wednesday, July 2nd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, July 7th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, July 8th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, July 9th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, July 10th: Traveling with T
Monday, July 14th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, July 16th: Literally Jen
TBD: My Bookshelf3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)