Members of a special Seattle unit investigate a suspicious suicide involving an insurance company and an elite, right-wing school in this comedic mystery sequel.
Chief Armstrong heads Seattle BOP, which stands for “the Bureau of whatever P is required”—be it payment, payback, or pursuit. Gestalt Insurance enlists BOP to look into the suicide of Roger Hansen, a teacher at an ultraconservative institution called the Right School. He apparently killed himself shortly after Gestalt denied his medical claim, but the company suspects that something’s not right about the situation. Chief poses as a student, and, as part of his search for intel, he strives to become a star pupil, which entails copious physical combat in a style called “Right Fighting.” Other BOP members, meanwhile, including Chief’s girlfriend, Ammy O’Malley, have no way to contact him, as he has no cellphone or internet access. Ammy and her colleagues, Duncan and Starr Jackson, go undercover, as well, in an attempt to deliver messages to Chief. As he begins to uncover nefarious goings-on at the school, Chief’s predicament becomes increasingly dire. Meanwhile, the Right School’s Dean Ernst Tulley and his right-hand man, Stanton Crawford, are perpetually on guard. MacRath’s (The Big Bopper, 2018, etc.) sequel offers readers a breezy, often funny mystery. Political satire runs rampant throughout; for instance, The Right School’s rival is called the Woke School, whose students the Right calls “wrongos.” The author also loads his narrative with zany visuals (such as a Donald Trump–branded clock with an “orange glow”) and wordplay (“an ultra-barbelled blond dumbbell”). There’s suspense, as well, as Chief must be incessantly careful not to reveal anything about his true mission at the school. The investigation, however, often takes a back seat to the drollness.
A lighthearted novel with consistent wit and wry humor.