Enemy Within, by Tal Bauer
Series: Executive Office, Book 3
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.
When everything falls apart, who do you trust?
President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.
Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.
Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.
As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.
Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?
The first time I read Enemies of the State, I remember thinking, “This is the novel I’ve been waiting for.” The second book, Enemy of My Enemy, was more of the same: intense action, political intrigue, betrayal and treason, with a riveting and gorgeous romance winding through it all.
With Enemy Within, the Executive Office trilogy finally comes to a close. And while I may have struggled a few times with this book, in the end I’m absolutely thrilled with the conclusion to this brilliantly plotted series.
I’ve said it before: Tal is a master at writing believable politics in a near-future world. Technologies only one step beyond our current levels mix with political twists and turns that only a master could keep track of. I have no idea how Tal did it, but every plot thread was perfectly woven into this trilogy, and tied off neatly at the end.
My biggest complaint, however, was the lack of romance.
In this third book, we get more of Jack and Ethan’s romance from the first two books, but it takes a back seat (a very, very far back seat) to the mounting suspense. The first romantic scene between the two of them doesn’t even take place until 30% into the book. And while there are two other romances being brought to the surface, they, too, feel like secondary thoughts to the action. But if you approach this book as a genre suspense thriller, and not a romance, it’s definitely spot-on perfection!
Without spoiling anything, however, I will say that I found the ending to be very satisfactory. A tad cheesy, but I think a bit of cheese is well-deserved after these struggles.
This is a trilogy jam-packed with politics and science, suspense and treason. It’s long and plotty and will keep ahold of you with every turn of the page. Enemy Within is a brilliant conclusion to the finest political suspense series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Highly recommended. A series that I’ll definitely read again and again.
Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal’s stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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