The President's Henchman, by Joseph Flynn
Wow, what a ride. Fast-paced, suspenseful, witty, with great characters.
McGill is a former cop who just happens to be married to the
recently-elected first woman president of the United States. To keep
himself busy, he opens up a P.I. business (much to the displeasure of
his Secret Service guards). But soon enough, he finds out that life at
the White House isn't all bunnies and rainbows.
military sex scandal, a Cuban crisis, a mad scientist trying to work his
way into the CIA with a technique for altering personalities, radical
anti-abortionists, scheming Senators, and a threat against Jim's
children from his first marriage. And it all comes together in one
breathless, dangerous day. Yeah, there's a lot going on, but it's all
interesting. Even the political stuff. I don't generally enjoy political
storylines, but these are exciting and well-done, with real stakes that
mean something to the characters.
Speaking of the politics, the
book hits a fine balance, without falling too heavily into one camp or
the other. The President is a moderate Republican, Jim is a moderate
Democrat (a mixed marriage in the White House!). There are bad religious
people and good religious people. There are bad people who are against
abortion and good people who are against abortion. Good military people
and bad military people. Good and bad people on all sides of the
The characters are all well-drawn,
distinctive, and interesting, and most of them are likable, except for
the ones you'll love to hate. But even those aren't just cardboard
cutouts - Mr. Flynn portrays very well where they're coming from and
what they want and why.
The book is written in a witty, engaging,
down-to-earth style that tells the story at a quick pace that's hard to
put down. I stayed up waaaay too late so I could finish the last 20%
(and this is not a short book; it seems shorter than it is) and then I
immediately downloaded the sample for the next book in the series.
See my main Clean Out Your eReader post here.