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by Russell Andrews
Mysterious Press, March 2005
384 pages
ISBN: 0892967919

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In Russell Andrews' latest novel, local cop Justin Westwood returns to investigate his biggest and most dangerous case yet. In East End, a sleepy town in the Hamptons, a bomb tears a restaurant apart. Suicide bombers have struck for the first time on American soil. Shortly afterwards, a plane crashes in the same town.

Are they linked? The FBI thinks not, but Justin Westwood is not so sure. As he investigates, he finds an enormous and powerful conspiracy. Will he be allowed to reveal the truth?

The previous novel that I read by Andrews, APHRODITE, was good, but flawed. MIDAS, I am pleased to say, is a lot better. Andrews has written a great story that moves along at a cracking pace. Westwood is a great character. Intelligent, tormented and immensely wealthy, he makes for an excellent police officer and after APHRODITE, it is good to see him working with the law.

The plot is also excellent. There are enough twists and surprises to keep the suspense maintained, but unfortunately, the final part of the puzzle was rather too obvious. Despite this, MIDAS works well. Even when the situation seems hopeless for all concerned and Westwood's path is blocked at every turn, he manages to get through the obstacle.

The other key point about this novel is that it is representative of the problems in current American society. Following the first suicide bombing, the US administration quickly rushes through new laws. Could this be paralleling the real-life Patriot Act?

Terrorism and political gain go hand-in-hand, and Andrews writes at length about the denial of civil liberties and the problems of Guantanamo Bay. More and more novels are examining the current political situation and the war on terrorism in America under the guise of fiction, and the picture they are painting is a not a rosy one. MIDAS is well worth the read.

Reviewed by Luke Croll, March 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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