Author Joseph Flynn has put together a charming fantasy First Family team for us in his series of political thrillers featuring Jim McGill and his beautiful wife, President Patricia Grant. When Jim got his P.I. license after the election, the Secret Service changed his code name from "Valentine" to "Holmes." He couldn't imagine spending four or eight years in the White House cutting ribbons or offering cooking tips while Patricia did the heavy lifting for the country, and he had no interest in running the FBI or the CIA. With her complete approval and his 25 years experience as a cop, P.I. seemed a good fit for him.
McGill will accept only one member of the Secret Service and one White House driver as escorts, and chooses both very carefully. Young mixed-race agent Donald "Deke" Ky is his choice as bodyguard. Leo Levy, McGill's driver, is a good ol' Jewish boy from North Carolina, a veteran driver of the NASCAR circuit. Leo, while not willing to take a bullet for McGill (that's not his job, and besides, his mother would kill him if he got shot) helpfully offers to run over any shooter several times.
With Sweetie guarding his door, the crowds vanish and his first actual case appears. Chana Lochlan is the White House reporter for a Fox-type cable news service. She is receiving phone calls at her private number from a stalker who calls her "Gracie" and describes her body in intimate detail. She is sure she has never heard that voice before, and none of her lovers has ever called her by that name. He had opened their first conversation with the question "Do you remember the last time we made love?" Chana wants him caught and stopped, but is unwilling to go to the police––she reports the news, and doesn't want to make it. McGill accepts the case.
|The U.S. Congress or a barroom brawl?|
It could have been ripped from the headlines, except that it doesn't go far enough in describing the intransigence and ninny-fication of our present Congress. Truth has outpaced even Mr. Flynn's fertile imagination there. For me, the saddest words in this book are the publisher's disclaimer: "This book is a work of fiction...Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental." That's a pity. Surely, we the people of these United States can, in sanity and good will, put together a pair of fantasy teams that can settle their disputes like competent adults within the framework of law to get our government working again! Go team, whichever side you're playing; let's not just sit on the sidelines, whining.