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In a fourth outing, JAG’s superlawyer Major Sean Drummond (The Kingmaker, 2003, etc.) gets packed off to a Washington, DC, blue-ribbon, civvie law firm.

Drummond isn’t pleased with the posting. And, heaven knows, the expensive talent at Culper, Hutch, and Westin isn’t the least bit happy with Drummond’s abrasive, know-it-all style. Still, just because he’s a lawyer-fish out of water doesn’t mean he won’t out-think, out-hustle, and certainly out-talk all those thousand-dollar suits either singly or en masse. For starters, take a Pentagon project called WWIP (Working With Industry Program), in line with which JAG attorneys are detached for a year to learn how the other half plies its Blackstone. As it happens, however, the learning experience is totally C, H, and W’s—Major Drummond being the born razzle-dazzler that he is. Meanwhile, a cruel and cunning sociopath is settling down to some serious serial killing. JAG Captain Lisa Morrow—the previous exchange student at C, H, and W, and Drummond’s good friend—is brutally murdered: neck snapped by hands both powerful and well-trained. She’s the first of many unfortunate ladies linked by beauty and brains, plus one additional connector kept hidden for a time. Drummond, now released from the restraints of corporate law, takes on the whodunit challenge and won’t rest until the killer is tracked down and confronted: a one-on-one deal that turns out more ludicrous than chilling (“We both chuckled, a couple of adolescents trading dopey insults and playground threats”). International terrorism, chicanery in the corridors of power, inept FBI agents, and sinister CIA operatives provide further complications for the ultraresourceful major before he can shoo off the suits and find, again, his peace and happiness among the uniforms.

Drummond once showed dimension and nuance. Now he goes all smart-mouthed, shallow—and wearisome.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2003
ISBN: 0-446-53178-2
Page count: 448pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003


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