cover image THE PROTECTORS


Dan Mahoney, . . St. Martin's, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-28450-3

Mahoney's seventh cop thriller pits a couple of wise-guy big-city cops against ETA, the murderous Basque separatist terrorist organization. Once again, Mahoney (The Two Chinatowns) puts Det. Brian McKenna on the trail of killers, kidnappers and some very dangerous perps who thrive on political violence. The resourceful McKenna is teamed up with partner Cisco Sanchez, an insufferable braggart whose methods are almost legal and whose hunches are usually right. When the Spanish ambassador to the United Nations is kidnapped in a bloody shootout in New York City, McKenna and Sanchez are put on the case, which has some high-profile international angles. The Spanish ambassador to France and the rich, beautiful Carmen de la Cruz are also kidnapped by ETA in the north of Spain in a diabolical plot that is anything but normal terrorist activity. Aided by international mystery man Henri Picard and an IRA thug named DuPont, McKenna and Sanchez have to find the kidnapped Spaniard in New York before they can help Carmen. Soon the cops are in Spain, chasing the ETA operatives and their two captives from Basque country in the north to Gibraltar in the south. However, not all their allies can be trusted: McKenna, Sanchez and even ETA are being skillfully manipulated by someone who has a different concept of justice and peace. Mahoney is a retired cop who writes his mysteries with colorful style and dramatic flair. Action, suspense, plot twists and innovative police work all come together in this timely thriller. (Sept. 3)

Forecast: USA Today bestseller Mahoney's strong reputation with critics and fans bodes well for his latest. The Two Chinatowns is out in paper this July.