An FBI agent and an intrepid reporter uncover a vast right-wing conspiracy to gain control of the U.S. government.
Marquis (Blind Thrust, 2015, etc.) uses the perspectives of multiple characters to narrate a contemporary political thriller. As the novel opens, a female assassin known by her code name, Skyler, pulls off the ultimate coup: she shoots and kills the U.S. president-elect. Though she is bankrolled by an ultra-right-wing Christian organization called American Patriots (AMP) and its charismatic leader, Benjamin Locke, Skyler herself acts only out of self-interest—and a hatred of men, because she was abused by them for most of her life. But when she loses her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to continue playing the game. Meanwhile, as AMP seeks to convince the new president, Republican Katherine Fowler, to carry out its own agenda now that she’s in the White House, FBI agent Ken Patton tries to solve the assassination case. When he runs into old flame Jennifer Odden, a journalist who is working undercover at AMP, the two decide to team up to figure out who is behind the killing and how far up the conspiracy goes. Soon, they find themselves targets as they race to bring the murderers to justice and stop them from killing again. Marquis has woven a tight plot with genuine suspense. At 495 pages, the book is a little on the long side. But the author for the most part propels the story forward as the protagonists work to uncover the truth. Skyler, a sexy but damaged female killer, reads a bit more like a male fantasy than a three-dimensional woman; she has too many lines like “there was no room left in her heart for love,” and her arc is the most predictable. Still, all the characters hold the reader’s attention as they dive further into danger. Marquis’ storytelling hits close to the zeitgeist—too close, in the case of his description of a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Here’s hoping the rest of these plotlines stay confined to the page.
An entertaining thriller about a ruthless political assassination.