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The Fourth Perimeter    by Tim Green order for
Fourth Perimeter
by Tim Green
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2002 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kurt Ford is a larger than life character - an ex-Secret Service agent who transformed himself into the billionaire CEO of a high tech security firm. Though his wife died many years before, Kurt is proud that his son Collin is following in his dad's footsteps as a Secret Service agent charged with guarding the President. And Kurt, now in his late forties, finally has a new romantic interest, the lovely, brilliant and kind Jill. He has just proposed marriage to her when he receives news that devastates him.

Indeed the reader is privy to these facts before Kurt hears of them, as the book opens brutally on the murder of a young Secret Service agent - Kurt's beloved son Collin. The police call it suicide, but Kurt's not buying it and he soon has evidence that convinces him, if not the officials. Then he is stunned by the disclosure by an old friend in the Service that several agents have recently died under suspicious circumstances, and that all were present at a secret, unscheduled meeting of the President's, where perhaps they saw a little too much.

Kurt is torn by grief and obsessed with revenge, which he plans to take by penetrating the 'fourth perimeter', the fourth and final group of agents who protect the President (the details of the plan are most unusual and well thought out). He ignores Jill, who forms a close friendship with a local farmer cum police officer. But while Kurt plots ways and means to exact his retribution, he himself is being watched and deeper plans are underway.

The author hooks his readers with sympathy for a bereaved father, and then keeps them on the line with fast action and ongoing surprises, so that it's very easy to imagine a movie version of the novel. Its last half moves with the speed of The Fugitive, with thrilling chase scenes. The father's grief is portrayed well, but other than that the characters don't have great depth. However The Fourth Perimeter is a highly entertaining read, not to be missed by anyone who enjoys a gripping thriller.

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