James Patterson is hit or miss with me. This one was a hit in my book. Imagine this: the president of the United States is brilliant but has also lost his mind. Farfetched? Clearly not! President Keegan Barrett, the former director of the CIA, has a dangerous skill set.

Six months into his first term, he devises a clandestine power grab to get revenge. He orders Special Agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to execute his plan, even though the Central Intelligence Agency is forbidden to operate on American soil. As CIA agents, they’ve sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all threats, foreign and domestic. When Barrett threatens to start a cyber war with China, they need to do something.

The chapters are short and punchy, giving this unnerving novel a sense of immediacy. Add some fascinating historical tidbits to this action-packed political thriller and it’s a recipe for a fun read. Some of the sentence structure and dialogue bugged me, but hey, they did not write it to win a Pulitzer.

I’ve got to know… is there actually a button to begin a cyber war that the leader of the free world can push? I hope that’s just fiction.

Favorite quote: “You know what they say: a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its pants on.”

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