Monday, November 17, 2014

Finished: "Supreme Justice" by Max Allan Collins

Finished: Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins, 2014, 9781612185309.

This is not Nate Heller solving the JFK murder. I kept thinking thatwais the book I took home. Nope. Not this one. The covers are not similar so I'm not sure how I got them screwed up.

I did tear through this book though. I was at work and would plan for getting home so I could grab the book and read.

Former Secret Service Agent Joseph Reeder became famous by jumping in front of an assassin's gunfire to save a President. Reeder's injury led him to a desk job and then a disability retirement. While retiring the left-wing Reeder mentioned how he hated the right-wing President he saved. Reeder became a pariah among his former colleagues and other federal law enforcement types.

Set in about 2025 (You can figure it out from Reeder's age and reference to his birth date but I do not recall the exact year) and the country has taken a hard, legal turn to the right. The 4th Adendment has been gutted and abortion is outlawed. There is a strong conservative block on the Supreme Court and those Justices want to change laws.

Reeder starts a successful security business after his retirement. A Supreme Court Justice is murdered in a D.C. restaurant where Reeder's company installed and services security cameras. A FBI pal of Reeder's asks him to look at the security tape of the killing because Reeder is also an "kinesics" expert; he is a body language and facial expressions expert and can see things other people miss.  Reeder sees that what appeared as a robbery was an assassination of the Justice

Reeder is asked to join the new task force to find the Justice's killers. Reeder joins. Then a second Justice is murdered. Both Justices are on the far right wing of the Court. Uh-oh.  Trouble is brewing. Reeder is partnered with an FBI Agent and they look for the street level crooks who seem responsible for the first murder.

Things happen. Reeder's daughter is dating a doofus.  Reeder and FBI pal have long history and FBI pal lost his daughter to a botched, illegal abortion. Reeder may be overreacting after years away from field work and is antsy-pantsy from being shot. There seems to be way too much knowledge by the killers about police investigations. The killings are way too complex and well planned to be one person. There is a conspiracy in place to change the make-up of the Court.

1. A fast moving and quick read
2. I thought Collins co-write this with his frequent Iowa collaborator, Matthew Clemens. Guess not. Collins's acknowledgments thank Clemens for all research.3. Politics. Collins mentioned on his blog how Amazon reviewers would take a political side and crap on the novel. Lefties would complain that is is a Righty novel. Righties would complain the opposite. Well, Reeder is a leftie but the novel sits in the middle. Either side may align with the view they want. Or, they can complain.
4. My complaint is that the climax was a little of a let down. I enjoy conspiracy novels but have come to expect shadowy people in high places who then - usually - get their come-uppance. The conspiracy here is personal. There is not big money push or political maneuvering by government weasels like in other conspiracy novels.
5. No matter, the book is well worth your time.

1 comment:

Max Alan Collins said...

Thanks for the nice review. Matt Clemens was my co-author on this and on WHAT DOESN'T KILL HER, my previous Thomas & Mercer thriller. At my request, Matt's name will appear on the covers to the two Reeder sequels we/re doing. Plan is for a trilogy with one thriller per branch of government.