Saturday, January 2, 2021

January 2, 2021 - Staff Reviews

 Man in the Middle

By Briag Haig
Release Date: August 4, 2005
Audiobook available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - This series entry felt a touch overly long but was an excellent mystery featuring smart alecky lead Sean Drummond. Haig never fails to subvert or change up this series with new characters, locations, and job duties for our hero. This time he's bringing his JAG attorney instincts to investigate a shady D.C. murder. It's middle of the road both in the series order and my impression levels.

All the Drummond books are very different from one another. Drummond is unchanging, however. He's politically incorrect and sarcastic. He has a minor humble side that makes an appearance when he's been an idiot. This was of the first series I recall that used the first person storytelling so well. It's becoming increasingly trendy in the mystery genre lately. But few have felt as natural to me as Drummond's viewpoint and Haig's style. All these stories can be read as standalones. Fans of the series though I think will find it superior to the last book President's Assassin. Ganser was definitely a step up as narrator from Brick. A huge one. Though his voice talents were stretched a bit thin.

Admittedly, Drummond's job changes will make some roll their eyes. He's always the best man for any task somehow, al la tv heroes usually. But he never forgets he started as a JAG lawyer in book one and he would prefer that detail. He's also far from PC and not afraid to voice, at least mentally, his opinions. This time his female counterpart is military policewoman Major Tran. She has an interesting backstory but her personality grated on me at times. One of the returning characters is Phyllis, Drummond's surly boss who always makes for an enjoyable page or scene. The main problem for me with this book was that it certainly went on and on. At no point did I feel the plot was dragging but I constantly couldn't believe how much I had left. This was a quality mystery mixed with an action thriller and anyone who enjoys the combination should give this series a try.


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