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.
I am just not impressed with any of Sullivan's books other than Rogue, Thief, and Outlaw. I keep trying, I really do, but they just aren't that good.
So, this security guy is conveniently outside the dangerous action when it all goes down, but his triplets are in the thick of it. Now, not only does he need to do his duty to save the day and get the bad guys, but he needs to save his triplets. He has three kids. All the same age.
It's kind of like an old Disney TV series, you remember Emil and the Detectives? Except there's no dog. You keep expecting Dad here to bust in all Bruce Willis on us, but he keeps holding back, cuz he wants to save his kids, his triplets, and is afraid to annoy the bad guys. So the three kids have to get creative and do Dad's job, and they don't even use their snowboards, which was totally set up in the first scene. Talk about foreshadowing that ended in a bland, overcast day. Lame.
THE STORY DOES NOT NEED TRIPLETS! What the heck! When you include something so unusual, there has to be an inherent reason where only triplets will do. There was absolutely no literary reason to do this, and it is so weird as to be distracting. Two kids could have done just as well.
Oh, please, the wedding at the end. As if we didn't see that one coming. And guys, don't try to design wedding dresses-- you don't want to marry the girl who would actually wear that dress. As for endings, we should all come out of such events rich for life and with our true soulmates. Gag me.
The story is well told, characters likable, good pace but ... hard to put a finger on it but there is just something off. At times it seems the story is supposed to be believable but then something unrealistic occurs and it comes across more like a movie with heroes who are just a little too good to be believable. An enjoyable story over all.
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