Richard’s Review: The Warsaw Protocol

As I mentioned earlier in my review of Kathleen Rodgers’ novel, The Flying Cutterbucks, I recently co-hosted three weeks of The Writer’s Block on LA Talk Radio. Kathleen’s was the first of the three books we read. The second I’ll review in two weeks.

But today I wanted to review the third book, Steve Berry’s, The Warsaw Protocol, because it ties in with another post I’m going to write later today regarding the idea that “all art is politics” that I profoundly disagree with.

Warsaw ProtocolIn Steve’s book he has created a U.S. President, named Fox, who acts and sounds a lot like President Trump. As I read along I found myself thinking” “Oh boy, here we go again, another potentially great book that’s going to get dinged at least one star because of the ‘Orange Man Bad’ baloney.”

But here’s where Steve being a guest on the show and us having a chance to talk about it saved the book for me. Unlike Kathleen, who admitted she went the full OMB on us two weeks before, Steve pointed out that he’d created President Fox in 2014 and hadn’t changed a thing about him since. In fact, he said, he was surprised to see Trump taking on so much of the character that he’d written in President Fox as the 2016 campaign played out.

I can relate because I wrote Betrayals years ago, long before the 2016 campaign and “Muh Russian Interference” played out in the daily headlines. I was getting a little spooked to see much of what I’d written in fiction starting to happen in reality. Sometimes, life decides to imitate art. Let’s just hope I’m dead wrong about Earth’s future in both Maelstrom and Escaping Infinity, eh?

But, back to The Warsaw Protocol now. Relieved that I hadn’t put up with another SJW sermon – and also relieved to hear Steve say he writes to entertain the reader and nothing else – his 15th book in the Cotton Malone series is a great read.

Cotton is a retired investigator/agent on vacation when he interrupts the theft of a religious relic. The bad guys make off with the relic and Cotton finds himself smack in the middle of international intrigue.

It seems an information broker has gotten hold of some damaging memorandum from the early 1980s regarding the man who is now the President of Poland. And this broker is offering the info up to the highest bidder.

Many countries, including the Poles, are invited to bid and each has their own reasons for obtaining the documents. The Russians and the Chinese to keep the Polish President in office and U.S. missiles out of Poland while the Americans, led by Fox, want them to either force the Polish President to bend to their desire to put the missiles in Poland or resign so his successor will.

What follows is a thrilling of sequence of events, espionage, dark secrets from the past, double-crosses and a unique setting for the ultimate showdown between Malone and his latest protagonist. And this makes this book a very good read that I happily recommend to any fan of political mystery-thrillers.

I’m glad I had a chance to talk with the author first before writing this review. Had that discussion not occurred, it would have been a little different result. But this one gets 5 out of 5 and now I’ll have to add the previous 14 books of the series to my to read list and pick up Book #16 when it comes out in February.  

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