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    Review of BLACK by Christopher Whitcomb (see his website)

    Little, Brown & Company, June 2004

    FBI Agent Jeremy Waller is living his dreams. Promoted into the elite FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), he gets to play with the big boys. But war on terror is a different kind of law enforcement and Jeremy finds himself in a situation where he doesn't know the rules and where he can't tell who are his allies or enemies. Senator Elizabeth Beechum is set to be the next Presidential nominee when she's attacked in her home--and then accused of murder. Those who were once her friends pull away from her, her nomination vanishes into thin air, and even loyal constituents back in South Carolina start to question their votes. CIA agent Sirad Malneax has infiltrated one of the largest, most secretive, and dangerous companies in the world. Now, though, her cover is compromised. Because the owners of Borders Atlantic will stop at nothing, certainly not murder, to keep their secrets and push their own agenda.

    In a suspenseful thriller, author Christopher Whitcomb brings the war on terror to life. Morals, laws, and decency are sacrificed in the bloody war to prevent a financial catastrophy--but there are always some who are willing to sell themselves, their secrets, and their country's security to the highest bidder. When Borders Atlantic launches a super-secure phone system--one that even NSA computers cannot crack, the terrorists prepare to have a field day against a prostrate U.S.

    Whitcomb weaves elements of his story together letting the reader scurry to catch up. Senator Beechum, in particular, is an interesting and well dimensioned character (Malneaux and Waller are perhaps a bit perfect). The exciting conclusion has a bit of a John Le Carre feel--which is definitely a compliment. I do wonder about Beechum's reaction at the end. Surely more heads would roll.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/05/04

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