Saturday, July 04, 2009

Broken Wing by Thomas Lakeman

I recently reviewed Thomas Lakeman's Broken Wing for Mystery News. The review is reprinted here, used with permission.

Broken Wing
by Thomas Lakeman
Minotaur Books
ISBN 978-0-312-38022-9

In his third FBI thrillers, after The Shadow Catchers and Chillwater Cove, Lakeman brings back FBI agent Mike Yeager. Despite his planned wedding to another agent, Yeager agrees to go undercover as a rogue agent, a “broken wing”. He doesn’t realize how far the FBI will go to make him appear to be an outcast. His mission? Recover a kidnap victim whose husband, a spy, was brutally murdered.

So once again, Yeager returns to the scene of his worst screw-up, New Orleans. As eager young agents, he and his partner, Art Kiplinger, were to testify in a major organized crime trial. Instead, they received the present of a bomb, and Art took the brunt of the explosion. Now, Yeager has to return and try to get back in the good graces of Emilio Barca, head of that same Cosa Nostra family. Will Barca trust Yeager after that earlier case? Will Barca’s family ever trust the man who loved, and stole, Barca’s only daughter?

It’s a fast-paced, violent story that takes Mike Yeager back to New Orleans, just a year after Katrina. Yeager is a flawed hero, deeply scarred by his childhood, and his failures. He’s a man who has been told he should, “Care a little less. Listen a little more.” It’s not in his nature to sit back and let events happen to him.

The convoluted nature of this thriller is one of its biggest assets, and, at the same time, its biggest flaw. It is difficult to keep track of all of the characters, each with their own agenda. Neither Yeager, nor the reader, knows who to trust in this complicated thriller that pits the FBI against the Cosa Nostra, the Cosa Nostra against a gang, Rize, and brings together unnatural allies. In the end, Mike Yeager can really only depend on himself.

Rating: 4

Thomas Lakeman's website is

Reprinted, with permission, from Mystery News, Volume 27, Issue 3, June/July 2009.

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