McBee (Counterpoint, 2012) brings back affable Secret Service agent Jack Connolly in this humorous tale of political intrigue.
Connolly, the assistant director of the Secret Service, is in charge of security for Vice President Melissa Callen as she and President Giordan make an appearance in Dallas on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The action begins when President Giordan is himself assassinated, and Callen is given a drug that causes her to temporarily forget her identity. The confused but still resourceful vice president manages to evade her security detail and ends up at the office of psychiatrist Andres Devendorf. Connolly and Devendorf protect Melissa as they work together to try to unravel a conspiracy at the highest levels of government. President Giordan’s duplicitous Chief of Staff Margaret Wise and a crooked senator attempt to pass off Callen’s jealous, ex-convict twin sister, Linda, as the new president—one whom they can control and dispense with as needed. Meanwhile, the chief of staff’s two hapless henchmen—and one of Devendorf’s deranged patients—pursue Connolly, Devendorf and a recovering Callen across the country. Despite the high-stakes plot, readers will likely find this thriller more lighthearted than suspenseful—the henchmen, for example, are clearly too inept to be a threat to the heroes. The story develops without the jarring twists and shocking revelations that readers might expect from a political thriller. However, Connolly’s narration of the scenes in which he appears is consistently offbeat and enjoyable, even if some of his jokes and attempts at political commentary don’t hit the mark.
An entertaining, if occasionally meandering, political-conspiracy tale.