By Darrell Case
Alison Stevens is an FBI agent who’s on the edge of losing her job. She’s assigned to investigate a series of murders of convicted criminals. What she doesn’t know is that the man behind the murders is the most powerful man in the country. Who can she trust when the justice system is against her? How can she prove who the killer is, especially when she becomes the number one suspect?
To tell you the truth, when I read the Amazon blurb, I curled my lip in disbelief. However, I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. But with a major mistake at the beginning, cracks developed and worsened, and finally, the story fell apart into something that couldn’t happen.
Jerold Robbins: wealthy, Senator, running for U.S. President (at the beginning of the book), serial killer
Tony Steel: FBI director, married, graduated Harvard
Alison Stevens: FBI agent, parents murdered, pointy nose, large lips, thin cheeks, grew up on a farm in Indiana
Gene Drummy: attorney, connected with the Mafia, divorced, drives a Jaguar
Rome Jorgenson: FBI agent, former FBI instructor, mother left when he was ten
Barney Gibbons: counsel to Robbins
Keaton Wallace: late 50s, Attorney General, overweight
Sean Waller: hitman, formerly with the CIA, nicknamed the Shadow, owns a Ford Taurus
Jackson ‘Jack; Alexander: U.S. Vice President, former Alabama governor, married
A lot of characters, many bad guys. Not many physical descriptions. One jolt for me was a new assassin is mentioned late in the story and brought in all of a sudden, with no build up, no foreshadowing. Many characters just weren’t believable in their roles.
Robbins shouts a lot. Otherwise, voices were average, conversations were quick, some lines were grade A- or B+.
Relatively short chapters. No profanity.
A smattering of Christianity sprinkled throughout.
Scene changes and POV shifts in some chapters are abrupt, confusing, and distracting.
A few punctuation errors.
Three things not believable: 1. Robbins is in his first year as President. At the beginning of the book (February) he is ready to announce his candidacy and thinks that by the end of the year, he will be President. No person would, or could, announce his candidacy in February of an election year. The announcement would be made the previous year. 2. The FBI director bugs the Oval Office. I’m sure that room is swept for electronic devices on a regular basis. 3. The President is ostensibly in a restaurant restroom for over half an hour without being checked on by the Secret Service.
Actually, there are more things here and there in this story that are not believable even by a stretch of the imagination.
There’s a time continuity error. In one scene, Alison meets a farmer. Later that night, a Senator is killed. In a scene that comes still later, the farmer talks of the Senator being murdered two days before. That night Alison is amazed at the farmer’s friendliness considering they had met less than a day ago.
There is a gun fight between Alison and the killer but how the killer found her days after the previous encounter is not explained.
Continuity error: A bad guy ‘sets the bird (helicopter) down behind a low ridge’. To me, that sounds as if he landed. Three paragraphs later, he’s still flying it and sets it down again.
There were so many areas that could have been strengthened. I don’t know if they would have made the story believable, but it would have made some of the aspects of character development a little better.
When I read a book for review, I can tell-for the most part, with exceptions, of course-what the rank will be at the end. Many times the rank will change as either problems pop up or the story becomes really enjoyable. With this one, I kept dropping the rank until I reached one that held because the lack of spelling and grammar errors kept it from being a total disaster.