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The First 48    by Tim Green order for
First 48
by Tim Green
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Tim Green is always tough on his protagonists' offspring and The First 48 is no exception. Ex-cop, ex-prosecutor Tom Redmon's career was derailed long ago after he came up against corrupt Senator Michael Gleason. Now he's an ageing alcoholic lawyer, noisily fighting windmills, with the help of his ex-biker best friend, Mike Tubbs.

When Jane Redmon, a Washington Post reporter, disappears after getting ready to file a tax fraud exposť on the Senator, Tom sets a countdown on his watch, knowing that the first 48 hours after a disappearance are critical. With his daughter's life at stake, Tom has no hesitation in breaking the law. He calls in favors, and applies his training in jujitsu as well as Mike's computer skills. The pair leave mayhem in their wake. They follow Jane's trail to the Senator and an ex-CIA assassin, but it doesn't end there. Who is Jane's informant, the mysterious Mark Allen, and what is his role in events?

The answers lie on Lake Ontario's Galloo Island, with assorted ex-military thugs, a somewhat stereotypical evil genius of a villain, and a very nasty bioterrorism plot, which the good guys must, of course, try to foil. Along the way, I enjoyed Tom's endearing dialogue with his dead wife Ellen, and an ongoing banter between the friends, laden as it is with quotations such as Napoleon's 'When time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.' Though this novel is not quite as good as The Fifth Angel, it's still a fast-moving page turner, with a strong friendship at its core and surprises right up to the very satisfying conclusion.

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