What a delight to receive a copy of this book from Matt Clemens, one of the top collaborators among today's thriller authors. In FATE OF THE UNION, second in a series that Clemens and Max Allan Collins began last year with Supreme Justice, former Secret Service agent Joe Reeder responds to the apparent suicide of a retired colleague. The opening chapter makes it clear that Chris Bryson was murdered by a very professional team, probably also based in Washington, DC, where the action unfolds. But Reeder and his quickly adopted investigation partner Patti Rogers, an FBI Special Agent, need to prove more than murder here; they need to show there's some point in opening up the case, when it would be so much more convenient, for a lot of powerful people, to leave it alone.
This series is set in the "2020s," when the authors picture an even more polarized national politics than today's. Embedding speculative politics into a DC thriller adds a fresh and provocative aspect to the writing of this team. Collins is the lead of the pair, and is best known for the Tom Hanks film based on Collins's graphic novel Road to Perdition. Clemens, in turn, is both a collaborator with Collins, and a steady support for emerging mystery authors. Their writing teamwork is well established, and develops great plot twists, clever red herrings, and strong characters that make the fast-paced ride well worth it.
The book's published by Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon imprint, so you may need to order it online rather than at your local shop. No need to read the earlier book first, but it does add some character depth to take this pair in order. Great entertainment, with a constant sense of how the book could easily become a film -- explosions, car chases, and conflict. And, oh yes, conspiracy. LOTS of it. A good fast-paced read for winter relaxing!
[Note: The book was released in early November, but I had to wait for Dave to finish reading it, as he called first dibs. Married life demands compromises! For extra credit, check out the author websites: Collins here, and Clemens here.]
This post first appeared on Kingdom Books, Mysteries -- Classic To Cutting Edg, please read the originial post: here