A courageous journalist investigates the deaths of two colleagues in Allen’s debut political thriller.
After she receives a mysterious phone call, Andie Aaberg—an investigative journalist at a Washington, D.C., TV news station—becomes totally consumed with finding out how two colleagues lost their lives on assignment in war-torn Iraq. The caller, as well as several journalists and highly placed government officials, have been implanted—unbeknownst to them—with microchips that make it easy for the government to brainwash them into promoting its agenda. From the very start, scathing descriptions point to a suspicious character: the megalomaniacal, socially obnoxious vice president intent on creating a new world order in the Middle East. Andie is a woman with a million questions, which the author skillfully compresses into succinct, probing bursts. Her quick, inquisitive mind will appeal to readers, and it won’t be long before they share her zeal to uncover the truth. On the other hand, references to highly advanced technologies are inadequately explained and may therefore be incomprehensible to some readers. Also, Allen makes excessive use of acronyms, some of which could be immediately recognizable only to government insiders and others who live and work in the Washington, D.C., area; readers unfamiliar with the acronyms may find their use disconcerting, particularly during key scenes. Certain aspects of the book hinge on moments of extreme incredulity, such as when Andie ends up sheltered in a sumptuous safe haven on Christmas Eve, taken in by a waitress at a random restaurant.
This battle of good versus evil wrapped in fast-paced prose might find an audience with anti-government conspiracy theorists.