Top positive review
Andreas must rescue the president when Manhattan is attacked again
Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2021
Great to see another Andreas story. It’s been awhile. I enjoyed Coes’ detoir for an episode starring Rob Tacoma, but the Andreas stories are better. Andreas - red-eyed and mean, a beer-drinking slob, antisocial, and comfortable in his own skin - is one of the most formidable ops in action literature.
An ambitious Iranian plot bigger than 9/11 is about to start against New York City. It will include an attack on President J.P. Dellenbaugh. The CIA gloms that something is up but Dellenbaugh won’t stand down from a scheduled UN speech.
The plot also includes the assassination of Dewey Andreas - as a diversion and also as revenge for his own attacks against Iran, including the assassination of one of their top terror promoters.
You don’t need a crystal ball to predict how things unfold. Particularly not when romance bells gently ring between the surly Andreas and the entrancing, aristocratic and otherwise unreachable Jenna Hartford, on loan to the CIA from MI-6. Jenna needs a date for her father’s 70th birthday party - which, of course, is on a yacht in New York Harbor - to keep her grandchildren-seeking mother quiet.
Andreas will be in New York when the terrorist plot launches? You pity the fools. Dewey, in his hilarious counterpoint with a girl whose father is a Sir and owns a yacht big enough to have its own skeet-shooting range, notes it’s the first time he’s been on a yacht when he was invited, rather than wearing a wetsuit and carrying a machine gun.
Jenna and Dewey share something more somber: she lost her husband and Dewey his fiance to terrorist attacks intended for them. Both have since avoided romantic involvement.
Of course, when Andreas walks by her office and stops in - clothes torn and him dripping blood on her carpet, having just aced out three Iranian hitmen, needing 17 stitches but insisting it's nothing - you know she’ll be a goner. How could she resist?
Dellenbaugh is one of my favorite techno thriller presidents. A former NHL star who in the Oval Office has a bust of Gordie Howe along with ones of Lincoln and Washington, he distinguished himself by how much time he spent in the penalty box for fighting. Andreas deserves no less a commander-in-chief. I want John Goodman to play him in the movie. Dellenbaugh will, of course, need to be rescued by Andreas, but Coes lets him drop the gloves to get in a few shots of his own.
I probably don’t give credit enough to Coes for convincing detail, both in operator weaponry and procedure and also, here, in complex computer wizardry. It occasionally borders on the incomprehensible - as an NSA analyst or CIA white-hat hacker Igor manipulate “metadata” - but that’s its nature. There’s a stunning presentation of the Federal Reserve’s underlying computer system using futuristic technology and I’m curious how much of this is true.