St. Martin's Jul 2003, 24.95, 330 pp.
The FBI Special Inquiries Squad (SPIN) conducts the usual thorough background check on a presidential nominee, Judge Brenda Thompson, the first African-American woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Hooverite Kevin Finnerty tells his subordinate SPIN chief Puller Monk to provide the report yesterday. Though unfair, Puller figures this is such a straightforward case, he plans to go a Connecticut Indian reservation for some serious gambling. However, Special Agent Lisa Sands has found a falsification on Judge Thompson's personal security questionnaire.
Lisa persuades her boss to forget the gambling and help her follow up on the judge's prevarication. Though not easy for a compulsive gambler like Monk to ignore the pull of the casino, he agrees. However, the deeper inquiries soon lead to attempts on their lives and successful murders. To Monk his professional life seems under control compared to his personal life starting with his Alzheimer's dad and his drunken girlfriend. He mentally wagers with himself, which one will cause his next crisis?
QUANTICO RULES will rule the FBI thriller set with its powerful investigative tale. Monk is a great protagonist with flaws and troubles that overwhelm him at times. Lisa is a dedicated agent who still believes although the conspiracy has shaken her foundation. The romance subplot slows down the exciting investigative novel, but is limited so fans receive a strong tale that demonstrates Gene Riehl's real skills to spin an exciting story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner