Select one of the keywords
Black    by Christopher Whitcomb order for
by Christopher Whitcomb
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Black is a complicated thriller that melds Washington politics and multinational shenanigans with shady operations and terrorist plots. It's a murky mix that makes readers wonder, as the story progresses, how the various sub-plots will come together. The fact that the author spent fifteen years with the FBI (partly as a Hostage Rescue Team, HRT sniper), gives credibility to operational details.

We see FBI agent Jeremy Waller in the final stages of gruelling testing for acceptance into the elite HRT. He gets past the newbie stage via a successful Puerto Rican assignment, in which he kills a man and rescues a child. A parallel plotline follows US Senator (and potential Presidential Democratic candidate) Elizabeth Beechum. We watch as she's framed for murder, though the corpse is elusive. Out on bail, she only manages to get in deeper trouble. Who's doing this to her and why? Then there's mega-powerful Borders Atlantic CEO Jordan Mitchell, who has an interest in both Waller and Beechum. His corporation is poised to market a new super-secure cellphone. Beechum has been arguing against its release, seeing it as a threat (in the hands of terrorists) to national security. And Sirad Malneaux is a Borders Atlantic executive, being groomed for a higher position. She's obviously more than she seems, but what motivates her and who does she work for?

The story shifts amongst all of these perspectives as events unfold. The new cellphone has more built into it than was initially obvious. Jeremy performs a horrific black op - an 'Agency gig' according to his team leader - with a lot that's fishy about it. Sirad seduces another executive, a financial wizard. Elizabeth launches her own investigation, with help from her Administrative Assistant. And terrorists have something big in the works, accelerating to a devastating fruition. Some chapters begin with quotes from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is appropriate given the twisting betrayals and confusions of a compelling plot which keeps its shadowy secrets till the last few pages.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews