In his third thriller, Devore (The Price of Innocence, 2013, etc.) plunges readers into the tense and tactical world of Secret Service agents pushed to their limits when the president’s life is threatened on foreign soil.
Despite the meticulous precautions taken by the Secret Service to ensure the safety of a Paris hotel where the president is staying during a summit, Special Agent in charge John Alexander can’t afford to drop his guard. Unbeknownst to him, a small army of terrorists is navigating the dark catacombs underneath Paris to assassinate President Abigail Clarke. Led by political dissident Maximilian Wolfe, the group plans to send shock waves around the globe. Agent Alexander has installed his top agents on this detail, including Rebecca Reid and David Stone, who also happen to be dating. When a colossal, deadly explosion rips through one of the hotel’s subfloors, the agents race to move POTUS to a more secure location, but with a blazing fire on the lower floors and a crashed helicopter on the roof, their situation becomes increasingly desperate. Devore masterfully builds and maintains suspense while adding interludes of exposition and character development. But readers may balk when characters occasionally lapse into philosophical or historical tangents, especially in the middle of the action. For example, as one of the terrorists chases Clarke and the agents, the narrator ponders the group’s purpose: “As with Rome, mighty America must fall to give the rest of the world the opportunity to forge its own destiny.” In these instances, those keen to get back to the action may be tempted to skim. Thankfully, Devore doesn’t keep anyone waiting long, and his ending is a gory nail-biter.
Occasionally meanders but stuffed with explosive thrills.