Former U.S. Special Agent Mickey Hennessy faces the challenge of his career when the private resort for which he is security director is attacked by anti-globalists. Among the hostages are his teenage triplets. The terrorists begin killing off the leaders of capitalism in staged trials on the Internet, and hunting down the kids, who have made a break for it and are working against them. Lloyd James employs a low-key style that provides a steady bass line for this suspense novel. Against that, he builds the rising suspense. Between the calm manner of Hennessy and the deadly coldness of the terrorist leader, James fits in a cast of characters who are filled with fear and shock at what is happening to them.
Expensive champagne flows, and multibillion-dollar deals are getting done, when, at the stroke of midnight, a ruthless and well-armed militia attacks the club. Self-described antiglobalists, they intend to put the wealthy patrons of the club on trial for crimes against humanity, live on the Internet for all the world to see. As the first trial unfolds, it becomes a new-media sensation, with tens of millions of viewers who are allowed to vote as jury members. It seems harmless and funny, until one of the tycoons is convicted and put to death just as stock and bond trading opens for the new year.
The markets are rocked by the execution and start to plummet as more of the billionaires are put on trial. The only people who can prevent an outright market crash, stop the madness, and uncover the true reasons behind the brutal attack are Mickey Hennessy, the club's director of security, his three 14-year-old children, and Cheyenne O'Neil, an FBI financial crimes specialist.
©2009 Mark T. Sullivan; (P)2009 Tantor
"Crisply written, breathlessly paced, suspenseful." (Booklist)
The title, "Triple Cross," has a dual meaning, here, referring not only to the 14-year-old triplet children of protagonist Mickey Hennessy -- who play a significant part in the story -- but also to the three-phase unfolding of the villains' motives. At first, we kind of get behind the invaders' stated goals:
"The government has become a mouthpiece for the corporations, no matter what political party holds power. ... The future lies in a third direction, through a dangerous crossroads, where global corporate power has to be challenged, held accountable, and defeated."
Indeed, the invaders call themselves "The Third Position Army," allegedly offering an alternative to international corporate greed and corruption. They propose to try the worst offenders in the Court of Public Opinion -- live over the internet -- allowing the People to vote on the guilt of these Bad Boys, then proposing appropriate punishment. Accordingly, a fat cat senator is tried first, his indiscretions exposed, the People vote him guilty by the millions, and the Third Position Army sentences him to humiliating public exposure. Just deserts, right?
But wait -- then the Army starts going overboard, killing people. Oops. Now they are behaving as badly as the Bad Guys. We feel betrayed! By the end, we get betrayed yet again: Triple Cross.
"Triple Cross" is not a deep, important book; but it entertains well. It has a plausible, interesting, exciting plot with likable protagonists. Narrator Lloyd James does not have a beautiful voice, but does a pretty good job distinguishing the characters from one another. I recommend this audiobook to anyone looking for fun escape fiction.
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