cover image The Directive

The Directive

Matthew Quirk. Little, Brown, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-19864-6

Washington, D.C., political fixer Mike Ford wouldn’t flinch at a .45 to the temple, but as his wedding to the woman of his dreams, fellow lawyer Annie Clark, approaches, he begins to freak out, in Quirk’s fast-paced sequel to The 500. And that’s even before some mysterious heavies threaten to kill Annie unless Mike helps them pull off a risky high-tech heist involving breaching the security of the New York Federal Reserve. In addition, Mike discovers that his partner in crime—ostensibly also strong-armed—will be his long-estranged brother, Jack, an inveterate con man who embodies the toxic past that Mike has struggled so hard to put behind him. Quirk keeps the action credible, from Beltway backstory to the white-knuckle caper at the New York Fed, but all the triple-crosses can’t conceal the fact that most of the characters serve as little more than action figures in a game whose biggest surprise many readers will guess in advance. Agent: Shawn Coyne, Endeavor Agency. (May)