An intriguing thriller from a former NPR correspondent about a young reporter who must match wits with spies, assassins and a terrorist sleeper cell targeting the very heart of American power.
"If, on an early summer’s night, you wanted to kill a man, how would you do it? Would you lay a trap, sharpen a dagger, uncork a poison? Personally, I’ve always leaned toward the dramatic. But looking back, I wonder now if the events of last summer didn’t begin with a quieter sort of murder."
So ponders Alexandra James, a beautiful, driven, yet troubled New England Chronicle reporter. She is assigned to cover the death of Thom Carlyle, son of one of the most powerful men in Washington. Just back from a year abroad, Thom falls from the top of a Harvard bell tower on a warm summer night. Did he jump, or was he pushed? For Alex James, who can get in anywhere, sleep with anyone, out-drink and out-shop her demons, it is the story of a lifetime. As she chases leads from Harvard Yard to the courtyards of Cambridge, England, to a clandestine rendezvous in London, to the inside of a nuclear terrorist network...the intrigue seems to suit her. But nothing is what it seems. When she arrives back in Washington, DC, for a key interview that promises to tie together the leads she has puzzled out, Alex the hunter becomes Alex the hunted. An assassin is dispatched.... Her laptop disappears.... Her phone is tapped.... And she begins to grasp that Thom Carlyle may have been killed to hide a terrifying conspiracy within the White House itself.
Former NPR Intelligence correspondent Mary Louise Kelly has turned her own real-life reporting adventures into fiction with this stylish spy thriller.
©2013 Mary Louise Kelly (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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It didn't help that I started this book after just spending two nights in a row watching the movies Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and discussing the highly improbable scenarios with the son of a decorated Air Force Colonel.
In the mood for more espionage, I picked up former NPR contributor Kelly's first book. And as I got into the book, I realized that this was the ladies version of WHD or OHF...great shoes, Chanel bags, lots of batting eyelashes, and a few lusty rounds of sheet hockey in between keeping the White House from tumbling. All in all fun and always entertaining, and the author knows when to reel in the frivolities before the story plunges into a Bridget Jones kind of caper. Alexander James (the protagonist) stays intelligent and gutsy. But, I admit to expecting a little more sophistication and intrigue from author Kelly. The idea of aging upper echelon politicians padding their retirement by...well that would be a spoiler...but the basic premise doesn't have the muscle to pull off this kind of upheaval. At least, I hope not. Still, this was light and fun, no explicit sex, and no F bombs. I don't think personally I would follow reporter/part time sleuth Alexander James, but I do see this character capable of becoming a popular red-headed agent, carrying a series -- especially for readers that like a little raunch-free spiciness, and international intrigue. If so, I hope that someone lets me know what ever happens with hunky Lucien, and the biotchy Petronella and her cat suit.
This thriller is so mesmerizing that you will invent boring chores just to rationalize listening to it in one day. The reader's command of upper class and hoi poloi accents from the British Isles and the United States makes this story even more entertaining and authentic.
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