DOUBLE DEAL by Michael McClister


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In God's Country, the indigenous zealots go around saying "88" to each other, but it has nothing to do with piano keys. It has to do with H, the eighth letter of the alphabet. Since there are two H's in, "Heil Hitler," you get a pair of eights, a magical number for Joshua—born Harlan McConathy in his redneck days-and his corps of crazies. Cult leader Joshua has removed God's Country (400 acres near Nashville) from a USA controlled, he claims, by degenerate non-Aryans, a group that includes every minority they make. None of this looniness matters to ordinary citizens until Tennessee governor's wife Nikki Gannon is kidnapped—brazenly, in broad daylight. The terrorists want to swap her for a jailbird they think will tell them where he's stashed $300,000 worth of bank robbery loot. But Luke Gannon, the anguished governor, doesn't sit around wringing his hands; instead, he calls on his close friends and fellow Vietnam vets to get Nikki back for him. Think these brave, resourceful warriors have lost their edge during the intervening decades? Think again. Despite the fact that cruelty and conspiracy take on some surprising guises, all of them murderous, the ad hoc commandos prove equal to the task.

Some rousing action scenes in McClister's second (Victim's Choice, 1999), but also a lot of what feels like marking time before the obligatory firefight at the end.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-26562-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000