The Rule of Nine ~~ Steve Martini

The Rule of Nine by Steve Martini
The Old Weatherman dreams of a plan that could be his swan song, an attack to drive a stake through the heart of the right-wing establishment and bury it for good. Now he's found the money, the ideal weapon, and the professional who knows how to use it. And he has set his sights on the perfect target at the very seat of the United States government, in the heart of downtown Washington. It will be a strike heard round the world.

San Diego defense attorney Paul Madriani is still reeling from the trauma of a near nuclear explosion he helped avert at the naval base in Coronado. Threatened by federal authorities to keep quiet about the close call in California, Madriani is now faced with a new problem in the steely-eyed and alluring Joselyn Cole, a weapons control expert, who believes he has to go public with what he knows if they have any hope of stopping a similar event in the future.

But Madriani has been linked to the murder of a Washington, D.C., political staffer, and authorities believe a shadowy figure called Liquida -- a hired assassin known as "the Mexicutioner" -- may be responsible. And this man, as the last survivor of the attack in San Diego, might be driven by a bizarre and horrifying star-crossed vendetta, and might now be looking for Madriani himself. What Madriani and Cole begin to fear is that the Old Weatherman and this madman have joined forces and intend to pull the city -- and the country -- into a vortex of terror before Madriani and Cole can find answers to the enigma that is "the rule of nine."
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About the Book
  • Published:
    Jun-2010 (Hardcover)
    Apr-2011 (Paperback)
  • Formats:
    Print / eBook / Audio
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An extremist wants to change the direction that the U.S. is taking by wiping out the Supreme Court.

Washington is in disarray and there is a budget deficit. The government wants to tax overseas accounts to generate revenue.

Senator Josh Root is concerned with how he and a number of his political friends will explain the wealth they have accumulated in foreign banks through bribes and kick backs. Additionally, his health has begun to decilne and someone has been blackmailing him for actions he took when he was a member of an underground movement durning the Vietnam era. His actions were under an assumed name but they resulted in the death of a security gurad.

The story follows Martini's "Garden of Lies." In fact, some parts are so closely related to incidents in the prior novel that it seemed that the author was assuming that the reader has read the earlier work.

In this story, the antagonist goes by the name Thorn. The FBI agent running the investigation goes by the name Thopre. The similarity in the names was confusing to me and I had to stop myself a number of times to be sure I was dealing with the correct character.

Thron uses a Mexican killer known as Liquida. He has a grudge against the protagonist, attorney Paul Madriani and Paul's investigator, Herman Diggs. The hatred that Liquida feels toward these two men stems from an incident in the first novel and is only briefly described. For this degree of animosity, I think more detail would have helped.

Madriani is an interesting character who is easy to root for. He's brave and patriotic. However, it doesn't seem realistic that a defense attorney would suspend his practice to chase terrorists.

The suspense was well done and grew in intensity as the novel was reaching the conclusion. However, the final pages made me feel like I was reading an episode from TV's "24".

Recommend for someone wanting an easy read for the summer.
The end leaves you hanging. I enjoyed the book, but didn't like the way it ended.
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