YA‘International espionage at its best. Two of Higgins's favorite heroes, Sean Dillion and Liam Devlin, unite with FBI agent Blake Johnson, a decorated Marine, to solve this suspenseful thriller. When the President finds out that he had a daughter while stationed in Vietnam, this knowledge triggers a chain of events that could place the world as we know it in danger. A devious group of people discovers his secret and, acting with terrible speed, they seize the woman. If the President does not comply with their demands, they will kill her. This mystery thriller is fast paced and filled with believable characters and humor, as well as heroes whose powers of deduction and actions continue to amaze and surprise readers right up through the climactic and emotional conclusion.‘Anita Short, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Pint-sized ex-IRA and ex-PLO operative Sean Dillon (Drink with the Devil, etc.), now with British Intelligence, finds himself working on behalf of the U.S. president in Higgins's disappointing latest. Dillon, Brigadier Charles Ferguson and Chief Inspector Hannah Bernstein are on the track of a Jewish extremist who calls himself Judas Maccabeus and is pressing President Jake Cazalet to sign off on a thorough bombing attack on Iraq, Iran and Syria. If Cazalet doesn't authorize the strikes, Judas will kill Contesse Marie de Brissac, Cazalet's illegitimate daughter, who was conceived in 1969 in Vietnam when Cazalet, then a Special Forces lieutenant, bedded Marie's mother. There are jaunts around the Mediterranean, with lots of kidnappings (and some subsequent releases), until Dillon leads a tiny band against Judas's clifftop villa on Corfu for an obligatory and rather perfunctory final shoot-out. Higgins comes up with an appealing new good guy in the person of Blake Johnson, a White House security miracle-worker, but this novel doesn't approach his action-packed par. Dillon and company spend as much time planning against Judas (and missing an obvious clue to his identity) as they do acting on their plans. Meanwhile, the badinage between Dillon and Bernstein adds more cuteness than wit. At novel's end, Dillon gets to visit the White House‘but not to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. Maybe British Intelligence should give him a raise; certainly, Higgins should give him a better showcase next time out. BOMC main selection. (May)
Jake Cazalet was 26 years old when he rescued a young Frenchwoman in Vietnam. Their short, passionate affair resulted in a daughter, Marie, unknown to Jake during his meteoric rise from decorated war hero to senator to U.S. president. Now, he meets her briefly before her mother's death, and all agree her identity must be kept a secret. But someone has found out, and Marie's life is in danger unless the president meets terrorists' demands. Enter Brigadier Gen. Charles Ferguson and his man in the field, Sean Dillon, former IRA terrorist, who have reigned supreme in Higgins's Angel of Death (1995), Eye of the Storm (1992) and other novels. Dillon, an unforgettable character, is invincible at escape and unforgiving in battle, while Ferguson functions as the nerve center and master manipulator. Higgins devotees and fans of espionage and suspense will line up for this. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/97.]‘Terrill Persky, Naperville, Ill.