Ballantine, Oct 2003, 27.95, 624 pp.
Desperate and frightened Joan Bowden, sister of the First Lady, calls her brother in law, President Kerry Kilcannon because he once promised to help her. A repeat physical abuse victim, she tells Kerry that her husband John held a gun to her head, placing not only Joan in danger, but their six-year-old daughter Marie as well. From his days as a prosecutor Kerry knows first hand the consequences of battered wife syndrome so he and Lara try to help.
Tragedy occurs anyway. In DC sides on the gun control issue begin to form for another war. The Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA) have gun lobbyists with senators spouting apple pie challenge the bloody pulpit of the President and his congressional supporters, sick of massacres and innocent children dying. The Congress is bitter and divided by party lines as the debate turns ugly, personal, and acrimonious.
The third Kilcannon tale (see NO SAFE PLACE and PROTECT AND DEFEND) is a powerful, in your face, condemnation of the American political system that abets gun violence. Author Richard North Patterson makes no apologies as he denounces a system in which money buys Congressional votes, ethics mean nothing, and the second amendment is used as a convenient wrapper though the political infighting on the hill seems to simple. Fans on the side of seat belts on guns will appreciate this strong chiding of the American way while those who oppose any restriction will detest the novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner