By Donald W. Tucker
Two Secret Service agents, a police officer, and a DEA agent are sent to Dallas’ new law –based convention center for three month’s of seminars on intra-agency cooperation. Within days of their arrival, one of the agents, asks a convention employee out on a date. The morning after, she is found dead in her home. This sparks an investigation from the foursome who slowly uncovers a web of conspiracy, racially based, and nationally wide in scope. The deeper they get involved, the more danger trails close behind.
This is an interesting plot. I don’t quite understand certain aspects of it (the reason behind using a certain drug in the murders, for instance), but the storyline is unique. It works well with the conspiracy theory fans. The one minor glitch I have with the scheme of the bad guys is that it’s backed, in part, by the Republican National Committee, but we’re supposed to believe that the benefactors of the scheme aren’t going to be investigated or have been ignored by the press. Not in today’s world with biased media outlets for both sides. Otherwise, I like the story as it is laid out.
Wesley Charles: Black, Secret Service agent out of Chicago, handles counterfeit cases, played football at Michigan State, divorced
Louis Boron: White, Secret Service agent out of Sacramento, Charles’ friend and teammate at MSU, blond/blue, divorced with children, directionally challenged.
Wendy Weissman: DEA agent from New York, attractive, redhead, Jewish, hearty eater
James Allen: Black, Seattle cop, has long legs, has kids but estranged from his wife
I liked the characters although one who I thought would stay, left the story early on. Tucker introduces several other supporting characters throughout. I had to laugh at the top bad guy. His personality and way of thinking are so over the top it’s a little humorous. The problem is, four people were introduced at the beginning and by the middle of the book, two are basically out of the picture. I wanted to see more camaraderie and the utilization of the skills and talents of each throughout. They are likeable characters but I didn’t get enough of them and I felt cheated to lose them so early.
Sometimes I could not tell who was speaking in some of the long conversations these characters shared. Louis likes to give long lectures. Some good-natured humor between the four main characters. On problem I found a little distracting is Tucker will occasionally have one character finish speaking either sentence or a paragraph, but continue speaking in the very next line when one would normally expect another character to take over the dialogue.
Other than some dialogue glitches, this is where I have the most concerns with this book.
Generally uneven writing. The book is separated into several Parts designated by Roman Numerals. A minor thing to mention, I know, but a single page with Part I written on it doesn’t exist as do the other Parts. It would, obviously, be at the beginning (barring a prologue), but isn’t written as such. Also, there are a plethora of format and editing errors. Misspellings, punctuation errors, extra spaces between sentences, indentation problems, and the misuse of italics or the non-use of such when needed. Tucker also repeats words or phrases too much. “The Divine Ms. Weismann” for instance.
A glaring mistake is made at the beginning of the book. The year this story supposedly takes place is 1981. However, everything after this opening in regards to events, facts, and technology indicates the story is set in present day. I thought the opening time period might be a typo but there is a list of events happening around that year and a few before to set the year. I looked for a mention of time passing, but none exists.
Not much action. Much of the violence is discovered after the fact. There is a bit of profanity but several uses of racist language.
This was a difficult read at times, despite the interesting storyline. I contemplated awhile but could not get over the many bumps. Unfortunately, I had to give this a ranking of: