TRUE FICTION by Lee Goldberg

 Ian Ludlow Thrillers, Book 1

Many years ago, a popular author I know told a story about how he was invited by Homeland Security to a retreat with other writers and creatives. Their goal was to dream up scenarios of terrorist attacks on the U.S. so that Homeland Security could be prepared. This was a true story, and I’m guessing Lee Goldberg was also at that meeting or at least heard the story, because that is the premise here, and it’s a really good one.

Ian Ludlow writes spy thrillers and when a man named “Bob” shows up in a limo at his door inviting him to a similar retreat with the CIA, off he goes. A few years later, reminiscent of 9/11 a plane crashes into a hotel in Hawaii, killing hundreds of people. Ian is the only one who knows exactly how it was done because he was the one who dreamed it up. He is on book tour, and realizes that the other authors that were at that meeting with him have recently died and those weird accidents he has just narrowly escaped would have left him dead as well.

Panicking, he gets his author escort, Margo, involved in helping him escape. He is convinced the CIA is after him, and when a driverless Mercedes Benz comes racing down the street right at him, Margo pushes him out of the way and realizes he is serious. Ian takes her to meet Ron Mancuso, former star of a TV series he wrote. Mancuso has gone a little off the deep end, paranoia is his best friend and he is living off the grid. He agrees to help and the race is on.

Meanwhile, the CIA is embarrassed by the attack in Hawaii when a former agent, now heading a Blackwater type private security firm called Blackthorn, shows up at CIA headquarters with a reasonable explanation of what happened and intel on where to find the perpetrators, and has the men in place to capture them – but it goes south and the men are killed. Blackthorn is just moments away from receiving a classified contract outsourcing many CIA operations except for one fly in the ointment – Ian Ludlow.

This is a fast paced story with lots of action, explosions and chase scenes as well as a lot of laughs, my favorite combination. I’m not sure if the all the technology mentioned is accurate and I really don’t want to know – if big brother is watching us all that closely, I’d be terrified.

It is a terrific introduction to a new series, and I can’t wait for the next book.

4/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TRUE FICTION by Lee Goldberg. Thomas & Mercer (April 1, 2018). ISBN 978-1503949188. 237p.

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