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Books 178-179: A Dangerous Talent and Without Fail

Book 178: A Dangerous Talent (Alix London #1).
Author: Aaron Elkins and Charlotte Elkins, 2012.
Genre: Mystery. Crime Fiction. Art.
Other Details: ebook. 270 pages,

Alix London has recently started to work as an art consultant in Seattle. Some years before when she was still an art student, her father, a prominent New York art conservator, was arrested and sent to prison for art forgery. She is now estranged from him and feels somewhat overshadowed by this family history. She is then approached by Christine Lemay, a novice wealthy art collector with plenty of money, who has been advised of a recently discovered painting by Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris hires Alix to authenticate the painting, an assignment that could establish her career. They head to Santa Fe where they soon find themselves caught up in a web of deceit and murder.

This proved a delightful light-hearted mystery with a very appearing lead character in Alix London. There is the hint of a possible romantic relationship between Alix and another character and I rather look forward to seeing how it turns out. I knew from the outset that I would want more and so have already purchased the two other books in the series.

Book 179: Without Fail (Jack Reacher #6) .
Author: Lee Child, 2002.
Genre: Political Thriller. Action.
Other Details: Paperback. 556 pages.

Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who makes a highly unusual request. “I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States,” she says. She’s the newly appointed head of the VP’s security detail and wants Reacher to try and penetrate her team’s shield, testing its efficacy against a genuine attack. Reacher has the skills and the stealth, and he’s totally anonymous – how better to check security? What she doesn’t tell Reacher is that a very determined and deadly team of assassins already has the VP in its sights. These men are skilled killers, but they’ve overlooked one key element – the presence of the equally lethal Reacher. - synopsis from author's website.

Another entertaining thriller from Child, Here Reacher is helping out the Secret Service as a consultant to protect the Vice President elect rather than wandering about getting into trouble. His link to the Secret Service was his brother, Joe, who was killed in the line of duty some years before.

I did have an issue with the novel that bugged me throughout and that was the date. It is mentioned many times that the events are taking place 5 years after Joe Reacher's death in 1997 making it November 2002, Fine but 2002 was not be an election year in the USA, OK this is an alternative history in one sense as the VP-elect was a fictional character but shifting US history this much to change the sequence of election years seemed off.
Tags: crime fiction, mystery, political thriller, thriller
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