Publication Information: Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, 2014
Genre: Suspense/Political Thriller
Plot: When one conservative Supreme Court justice dies in a seemingly random robbery, it is shocking enough, but when a second conservative justice is murdered, it is clear to former Secret Service agent Joe Reeder that some enemy of the Court has an agenda and could be planning a dramatic reconfiguration of the court. Reeder once saved the president’s life by taking a bullet but that heroic act indirectly led to his retirement. Now his friend, Gabriel Sloan, is the FBI’s agent in charge of the case and asks for Joe’s help investigating the crimes that threaten to bring DC to a standstill.
Audience: Fans of suspense, legal thrillers, and readers like me who wish they had clerked for a Supreme Court justice.
What I liked: This is a fast paced thriller with several interesting characters, and although they are not fully developed, it is a fun if predictable summer read which I will share with my father. Reeder is an interesting protagonist: someone who was dedicated to his job as a Secret Service agent and respected the presidency although not the incumbent whose life he saved. Unfortunately, he shared his feelings too openly so while he was admired for his dedication to duty he was pushed into retirement. Now that I have thought about it, I would prefer that those who guard the President avoid political partisanship as I had to do when a federal employee. However, in fiction, I found the differing political viewpoints of the characters interesting. I am reminded of something I read earlier today - that we should not be divided into conservatives and liberals but haters and non-haters (of course, I can't recall where I saw it or I would provide a link).
I particularly enjoyed the quotations from Supreme Court justices which begin each chapter. This is billed as a standalone by prolific author Collins but I would read another book about Reeder and FBI agent Patti Rogers.
What I disliked: The author’s research on Supreme Court justices was incomplete: even if Patti is clueless enough to call the Chief Justice “your honor,” Reeder had met him before so would have known to address him as “Chief Justice.” Moreover, the justices are guarded by a special police force in DC and by federal marshals when they travel so perhaps would not have been quite such sitting ducks as implied (although the book is set slightly in the future so I suppose security cuts could have been made). And, given that Justice Venter’s invitation to his clerk, Nicholas Blount, (which results in his death) was spontaneous, how did the killer know they would be at the bar in time to set up the attack? Perhaps Amazon’s new imprint does not include any actual editors who could have provided some suggestions to Collins and Clemens.
Giveaway: Thanks to the publisher, I have a copy to give away. If you are interested, please leave a comment telling me something you have enjoyed reading recently and I will pick a name.
Source: I received Supreme Justice from the TLC Book Tours and urge you to stop by the tour to learn more about the author and see what other reviewers had to say about this book.
Max Allan Collins’ TLC TOUR STOPS:
Monday, June 16th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, June 18th: FictionZeal
Thursday, June 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, June 23rd: Reading Reality
Wednesday, June 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, June 26th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Friday, June 27th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, June 30th: Bookchickdi
Tuesday, July 1st: Bookish Ardour - excerpt
Wednesday, July 2nd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, July 7th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, July 8th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, July 9th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, July 10th: Traveling with T
Wednesday, July 16th: Literally Jen