cover image Drone


Mike Maden. Putnam, $26.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-399-16738-6

Maden’s promising first novel, an engrossing techno thriller, introduces Troy Pearce and his team of geniuses at Pearce Systems, who deploy unmanned drones across land, sea, and air against a long list of enemies of the United States. Among the many victims of a brutal massacre in El Paso, Tex., perpetrated by two members of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, the Castillo Syndicate, is Ryan Martinez, the son of the American president, Margaret Myers. When Mexico’s government is unable to bring the cartel to justice, Myers recruits Troy and company to not only finish off the Castillos but eliminate the illegal drug trade between the two countries once and for all. That other nations besides Mexico are involved in a much larger plot against the U.S. complicates Troy’s mission. Maden, a co-creator of the Web TV series Pink, loads the novel with too many subplots, but provides plenty of great drone details. Readers will eagerly await Troy’s further adventures. Author tour. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)