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The President's Assassin    by Brian Haig order for
President's Assassin
by Brian Haig
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Since Major Sean Drummond's JAG boss needs a break from his 'authority issues', he's been seconded to the CIA Office of Special Projects under Phyllis Carney, a little old lady who's sharp as a razor and adept at surviving Agency politics. Drummond's latest challenge begins en route to a murder scene - the home of the White House Chief of Staff, who, along with his family and Secret Service detail, has been efficiently slaughtered. All the signs point to professionals with insider information. Sean is soon partnered with attractive FBI Agent Jennie Margold, a lovely and highly intelligent profiler who unfortunately reports to George Meany, Drummond's antagonist in the previous series episode, Private Sector.

As more highly placed Washington officials are swiftly murdered (three in one day), Sean and Jennie race against time to find who's behind an operation that appears to target the President himself. Their investigation zeroes in on Secret Service Agent Jason Barnes, whose brutal childhood raises doubts about his on the job reputation as a 'gilded paragon'. Sean later muses that the 'world can try men's souls, but truly, children should not have to witness and bear its horrors before their time.' Though they have a prime suspect, Drummond still wonders what could possibly motivate the 'sheer extravaganza' of the massacres, and where the perpetrators are getting hold of munitions like 'Bouncing Betty' mines. In parallel with the developing investigation, we get to see a strong attraction develop between Sean and Jennie, who agree to watch each other's backs. And as always I enjoy the Major's amusing musings, as in 'Anytime you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right, there's a 90 percent probability you'll get it wrong.'

There's a wild chase through D.C., a hostage situation, and our favorite army lawyer even comes under suspicion himself. Since I've grown to expect a devious plot from Brian Haig, I figured out the ending before Drummond did, an ending that takes a few more chips out of the Major's battle-scarred soul. And, though I still miss Imelda from earlier episodes and would love to have her back, I enjoyed The President's Assassin very much and confidently recommend it to you.

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