Midas Hardcover – Mar 22 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This well-written "post-9/11" thriller from Andrews (the pseudonym of New York City book editor Peter Gethers) starts off with two seemingly innocuous news items: an EPA announcement that places an Alaskan oil field "permanently off-limits to oil companies" and a Bloomberg report on oil prices. But then the novel explodes with a nightmarish event: a suicide bombing destroys a restaurant in one of Long Island's fashionable beach towns, killing (among others) East End Harbor sheriff Jimmy Leggett. Leggett's widow wants the new sheriff, Justin Westwood (the protagonist of 2003's Aphrodite), to find out who's behind her husband's murder. Soon another incident--a small plane crashes just after take-off--commands Westwood's immediate attention; the dead pilot has no ID and, bizarrely, leaves no fingerprints. Westwood's relentlessly dogged investigation pits him against some powerful characters indeed--Islamic terrorists or our own government?--and puts him in real danger: the book's best section vividly describes what it might be like to be interrogated at Guantánamo Bay. While some readers may be put off by the broad caricature of the current administration and a conspiracy-laden plot that perhaps only Michael Moore and his acolytes could find credible, all will cheer the appealing Westwood as he pursues the truth.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Justin Westwood, the small-town cop with a big-city past, returns in this imaginative thriller from the author of Gideon (1999), Icarus (2001), and Aphrodite (2003). When a suicide bomber blows himself up in a restaurant in the tony Hamptons, it appears that terrorists have targeted Long Island's rich and famous. Not too long after that, a small plane taking off from a Long Island airport crashes; transportation authorities call it an accident, but Westwood suspects murder. And, as he investigates, he finds something even scarier: the bombing and the plane crash may be related. Andrews (a pseudonym for author Peter Gethers) handles the sensitive subject matter skillfully, engaging our interest in a complex plot rather than simply exploiting our fear of terrorism. Westwood, who was introduced in Aphrodite, is a strong and enigmatic protagonist, well suited to the convoluted kinds of crimes that Andrews has him investigating. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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1. If you're a devoted fan of Michael Moore and his Hollywood crowd and believe that the Government is truly evil, capable of anything, and putting all kinds of nefarious conspiracy plans into action, then this is exactly the book for you (the author is an actor). If you believe the Government is a bunch of folk stumbling along as best they can, then you might want to ignore this book, or perhaps just ignore the big conspiracy and read it for the rest of the story which is pretty good in its own right.
2. Surprisingly, the technical aspects of the book are also pretty good. I wouldn't put it quite up there with a Clancy, but the planes, bombs, and even the financial aspects are pretty detailed.
The story itself has a post 9/11 plot, which begins with the first suicide bomber in the US. It goes on from there to more terrorism, interconnected in some pretty strange ways.
There's also a pretty strange set of characters, especially the bad guys.
Good story, highly recommended, if the anti-government aspects doesn't get to you.
Because of the political overtones early in the story I could have written the end of the book about 1/4th of the way into it as well.
I hope this author returns to the original formula that won him so many fans.
However, in Midas, we finally find the kind of action that was noteworthy of Russell's first book.
Midas is an honest to goodness thriller. Complete with small town sheriff (Justin Westwood is back), bombs and a wonderful whodunnit with conspiracy theories abound.
This book was clearly written after 9/11 as you will find many direct references to terrorists, bombs and a general fear of the unknown.
Russell has written an extremely tight storyline - the plot holds up and for the longest time, the storyline is written as though two separate chain of events are going on.
I really enjoy the character of Justin Westwood and I absolutely loved the character of Bruno Pecozzi who is written in a complex - never sure if he is a good guy or not point of view. I hope to see lots more interaction between these two in future books.
My only negative. Midas can get extremely technical at times. Lots of descriptions (in detail) of planes, bombs and even the financial aspects are extremely confusing. So, be sure you are giving your 100% attention when you read this book or you will miss something that will, no doubt, be extremely important sometime down the storyline.
I really enjoyed this one.
I found the whole story implausible and what was really insulting is that anyone who know something seems to be wiped out without a thought by government agents but Justin being the hero is treated totally different. Another thing that bothered me is how easy Justin gets involved with a female cop who he has just hired. Being a real small town with a tiny police force a romantic involvement could really jeopardize a working relationship. Justin supposedly being so smart should know better.
Justin seems to be like Jim Garrison from JFK in pulling together all these "facts' that nobody else can get to piece together the whole organization of the conspiracy. This book did not leave me in the end with any desire to get any more of the other Justin Westwood books. This was a bad attempt by the author to put his "Michael Moore" type theories into a book. He should have just written a political commentary instead.