John Deal is no hero--he just happens to be in the right place at the right time, cruising in the Gulf of Mexico when a group of Cuban refugees are tossed overboard in a smuggling operation gone awry. Then, presidential politics, particularly the importance of the Florida vote to President Frank Shelton's reelection campaign, put Deal on stage in Miami for a Medal of Valor ceremony. In another case of bad timing, Deal is caught in the middle of a scheme by anti-Castro partisans who plan to kidnap the president and blame it on Cuba. But when at the last minute the First Lady stands in for her husband at the Medal of Valor ceremony, Deal finds himself an inadvertent hero again, abducted with Linda Shelton and taken away with her to a deserted island in the Bahamas. The problem is, nobody knows Deal's been snatched with the First Lady--nobody except for retired cop Vern Driscoll, Deal's closest friend. Flying into the eye of a hurricane to rescue Deal and the First Lady, he tries to accomplish what the FBI, CIA, and every other law enforcement agency under the president's command hasn't been able to. Meanwhile, it's up to Deal to uncover a plot against the president hatched from somewhere within the president's own administration.
John Deal is an antihero in the best tradition of existential mystery fiction, and in Standiford's capable hands, he's grown into a more complex character with every new adventure. And, while Frank and Linda Shelton bear a striking resemblance to Bill and Hillary Clinton, it may be more than a coincidence--Standiford clearly knows what goes on in Washington, especially where relations with Cuba and Miami are concerned. --Jane Adams [via]