From Publishers Weekly
In Poyer's ninth Dan Lenson novel (after 2004's The Command
), his navy hero joins the National Security Council staff at the White House, where the Congressional Medal of Honor winner runs into an unconvincing presidential assassination plot. Robert De Bari, a Clintonesque figure who's despised by the military for his failure to serve in Vietnam and is known for a roving eye, occupies the Oval Office after the first Gulf War. Lenson assumes a host of tasks, from antidrug duty for the NSC to being the president's military aide carrying the legendary briefcase with its nuclear launch codes. As astute as Lenson is, he proves to be naïve as forces that want De Bari replaced by the vice president (who's more Cheney than Gore) manipulate him. Most thriller fans will feel this is familiar territory that has been plumbed more effectively by Tom Clancy and David Balducci. (Nov.)
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You'd think the phrase "slow-moving thriller" would be an oxymoron, or at least a criticism. But, in this case, it 's neither. For its first half, the latest Dan Lenson novel moves at a steady pace, establishing its setting (Lenson has taken a new White House job in "counternarcotics"), characters (of which there are many), and the threads of the plot (which involves a terrorist scheme and a plot to assassinate the U.S. president). Once the scene is set, Lenson accelerates the pace, though never to the nail-biting level of some thrillers. This one's more like an episode of The West Wing
blended with traditional thriller elements, and readers of political novels will enjoy the author's revealing portrayal of the backroom goings-on at the White House. Poyer's more interested in story and character than in slam-bang action, and that's a good thing because when the action does kick in, we care enough about the characters to follow them into danger. Recommended especially for fans of Robert Ludlum's political thrillers (although Poyer is a superior writer). David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved