Thursday, May 24, 2012

The 13th Target-Mark de Castrique

The 13th Target

Mark de Castrique

Poisoned Pen, Jul 3 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9781590586174

Russell “Rusty” Mullins was a Secret Service agent who protected four POTUS, but left the agency when he failed to protect his most important person, his wife Laurie from ovarian cancer. The widower became a private protection operative whose current client is Paul “Old Greenbacks” Luguire, a top Federal Reserve official who was the Board’s top contact with the Treasury.

Rusty becomes stunned to learn from DC police that his client who had become a friend committed suicide. Rusty refuses to believe Paul killed himself as he was so proud of his grandson among other signs that Old Greenbacks relished his life. Former Secret service peer Amanda Church, who works at the Fed’s cyber-security cell, informs Rusty she found a strange transaction authorized by Robert that was erased; the Regional bank shows Russell Mullins as the person who wired the money to them. Stunned, Rusty investigates, but soon finds himself accused of a homicide. With further assistance from Detective Robert Sullivan and blogger Sidney Levine, Rusty eludes the law while trying to stay out of jail and prevent a conspiracy to destroy the American financial system by going after twelve known key participants and an unknown 13th target.

A timely thriller with the Great Recession in which the Fed played a key role (and still does), fans will enjoy this action-packed mystery. Rusty is a solid protagonist while his allies enhance his effort to prove his innocence and stop a terrific plot. Although, there is a tendency to overwrite the financial relationship that slows down the storyline (though understandable as that is so convoluted it makes the DNA helix look simple), Mark de Castrique provides a fascinating conspiracy tale.

Harriet Klausner

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