This is the first time I've been unable to finish a Francis mystery. I soldiered through eleven chapters, then checked other reviews to see if the overbearing anti-American themes were truly there or if I was merely over sensitive. It seems it's not just me.
I can tolerate a certain amount of eyebrow raising in a character over cultural differences but every time such differences came up, it's met with a condescending supercilious that seemed to be the only real defining trait of the protagonist. Add to this flaw a lack of good character development of the remaining characters and you're left reading a novel about one-dimensional character tropes moving sluggishly through a plot that never really takes flight as I would expect by the twelfth chapter.
American dialect and idiomatic speech feels lifted from television shows, and much of it is riddled with Britishisms that few here in the US use even given the influx of British patterns of speech thanks to the popularity of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. This sort of faux pas might be forgivable if the characters themselves weren't merely stereotypes.
As a woman I was particularly put off by the first female agent being introduced foremost with a reference to an affair she was having with another agent and then later shown to have a particularly unprofessional emotional reaction to her lover's injury in the midst of a mission. I found it insulting to female soldiers and LEO's, and I'm hardly a hardcore feminist. Also, the reaction of agents to the shooting is another moment that lacked any nuance and seemed lifted completely from American television.
Felix Francis would do well to look at Lee Child for an example of a Brit who can write Americans well if he wants to continue writing novels set in America. Or even to his own father for examples of how to observe cultural differences with humor and grace instead of the heavy-handed lecturing tone that undermines the effectiveness of character and plot. If he truly holds all things American in such low regard, perhaps he needs to restrict future novels to Great Britain only.