Finder takes a step outside his usual corporate thriller zone into political & suburban territory when there is a computer mixup at the TSA line at LAX. I have to say I loved the premise of this book; it seemed so believable.
Michael Tanner owns a small, wholesale elite coffee business that is not doing terribly well. In fact, he’s close to closing the doors. On a return trip home to Boston from L.A., he barely gets through security in time to catch his flight. Eventually he realizes that he must have grabbed the wrong laptop. This one has a little sticky note on the bottom with the password, and he quickly finds out it belongs to a powerful U.S. Senator. Curious, he pokes around and discovers some highly classified information, which he promptly shares with a Boston Globe reporter friend. When his friend commits suicide a couple of days later, Tanner is alarmed.
Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., the senator’s chief of staff , Will Abbott, is in a panic. He’s the one who illegally downloaded the top secret documents onto the senator’s laptop so she could peruse them on her flight home from L.A. She knows the password is available, and they both are extremely worried – this could end her career, and Will could end up in prison.
It’s a fairly simple matter for the D.C. powers that be to determine whose computer they have and where the Senator’s computer should be, but when Tanner is confronted, he denies he has the Senator’s computer – and things go rapidly downhill from there.
There are a lot of bad – and often unbelievable – decisions made along this journey, and it often seemed repetitive. The characters weren’t really fleshed out enough to make me care what happened to them and I constantly had to think about who was who – who had the crying baby? Whose wife took off? So while I loved the beginning of the book, in the end, the premise was better than the actual story. This was a disappointment from one of my favorite authors.
6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE SWITCH by Joseph Finder. Dutton (June 13, 2017). ISBN 978-1101985786. 384p.