Review: Racial tensions, religious intolerance, government deception, kidnapping and murder all play important roles in First Daughter, a gripping and topical political thriller by Eric Van Lustbader.
Just weeks before the inauguration of Edward Carson, the newly elected moderate Republican President, the current President seeks to make sure his beliefs become laws of the land. For eight years he has tried to return the United States back to its roots as a Christian nation. He envisions the country's future as a "fortress America", one able to withstand all foreign terrorists. Working against him is a group that calls itself E-Two, the Second Enlightenment, in reference to the Age of Enlightenment that spread through Europe in the eighteenth century. When President-elect Carson's daughter, Alli, is kidnapped, for current President is secretly delighted as it gives him an opportunity to devote considerable resources to not only locating the girl and, as a cover, to bring down E-Two at the same time. Carson, however, wants his old friend, Jack McClure, a top Washington AFT agent, to lead a search for Alli, much to the dismay of the Secret Service (and the current President). When McClure's command is quickly undermined, he continues on his own to search for Alli and return her to her family.
First Daughter is one of the most intriguing and exciting novels to be written this year. In addition to the suspense generated by the search for Alli, there is the compelling backstory of McClure who rose from being a homeless teenager suffering from severe dyslexia to being one of the top agents of the US government. There is also the personal connection between McClure and Carson: they were roommates at college and McClure lost his own daughter in an automobile accident. His determination to accomplish his mission for the safe return of Alli is both admirable and thrilling.
There's undoubtedly intended to be a "greater good" message here, but the author seems to intentionally be noncommittal as to what it is, rather, and probably wisely, leaving that for the reader to decide on their own.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of First Daughter.
Acknowledgment: Planned Television Arts provided a copy of First Daughter for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Forge Books (Hardcover), September 2006
ISBN-13: 9780765314635; ISBN-10: 0765314630
Forge Books (Hardcover), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9780765325150; ISBN-10: 0765325152
Location(s) referenced in First Daughter: Washington DC
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First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader — A Jack McClure Mystery
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: August 2008
List Price: $25.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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