The Right Guard
By Alexandra Harriet
In 1978, the military has discovered a rash of thefts from several bases around the country. The government has several suspects. CIA operative Eric Brent is assigned to infiltrate a secret group operating almost in plain sight. They are called The Right Guard and are tired of the government’s wasteful spending, increased tendency toward the nanny-state and disobedience to the Constitution. Their goal: take over the government and put things back on track. The deeper Brent goes, the more he uncovers, including a link to his family’s past in Nazi Germany near the end of World War II.
I like this plot in that even though the story is set in the late 70’s, the reasons for the Right Guard’s actions could be argued as happening today. It’s a timely story using historical facts. There actually was a rash of thefts of military armaments at the time.
Eric Brent: 38, CIA operative, father was a Count and a Field Marshall Adjutant in the German military. Has a mustache. Has an older brother and sister. Original surname was Von Erhenrich. Lived his early years in Germany after World War II. Has invented a new type of gun. Blonde hair, ruggedly handsome, ice blue eyes, Vietnam vet, suffering from gunshot wound from last case, marksman, close to leaving CIA employment, awarded Intelligence medal for Valor, attended University of Richmond, worked on campus newspaper
John Ross: CIA chief of Special Operations Group, mid 40s, short steel gray hair, muscular and lean, tan, gray/blue eyes, pipe smoker, divorced, thin face
Drake Cochran: attended university of Richmond and worked on campus newspaper with Brent. Full lips, Sagittarius, direct, former reporter, works as a press secretary to a Senator
Deacon Malway: 68, white hair, ruddy face, prominent veins in his hands, leader of the Right Guard, dark eyes, stocky frame, business savvy, hates lawyers, no respect for women, drives a Jeep, pipe smoker, in ill health, married with an estranged son, wife lives in a separate residence
There are some interesting characters including an ex lover of Brent’s with whom he’d like to rekindle a romance.
Conversations stay on target. A few lengthy reports during some of the meetings.
Many chapters are headed by excerpts of actual news articles relating thefts from military bases. Chapters are headed also by dates. Chapter lengths vary. There are some punctuation errors in misplacement of quote marks and incorrect tag lines. The main problem I had with this story is that most of the scenes are meetings. Meetings between Eric and his boss, with Eric and the government men, with Eric and the bad guys, with the government men reporting on progress, on the bad guys reporting on progress, etc. There isn’t too much action throughout. There is a slight rise in tension when Eric makes a surprise discovery about what the Right Guard has in its possession and a little bit at the end, but the scene where I expected major action fizzled and there was no real climactic ending. The premise is a good one, but the story is droll.