Land dazzles with his latest capital crimes thriller
I’ve read just about all of Margaret Truman’s Capital Crime books and have enjoyed every one of them.
But Jon Land has taken the series, and thrillers in general, to a whole new level in Murder at the CDC. Forget ripped-from-the-headlines; with this one, Land seeks to predict future headlines and we better hope he’s wrong.
That’s because the book’s eerily prescient premise centers around a maniacal plot hatched by right-wing extremists to unleash a second civil war on the US. Worse, they have a bioweapon in their possession that can murder millions of Americans and throw the country into utter chaos.
Chaos, though, is what the book’s beautifully drawn villain Deacon Frank Wilhyte wants. Stuck in the shadow of his famed televangelist father, Wilhyte is looking to leave his own mark on the world, just as he leaves marks in the form of bruises on his own son, like his father did to him. That is, until the boy’s scientific acumen enables Wilhyte to fully weaponize that bioweapon known as the “White Death.”
Fortunately, series protagonist Robert Brixton is on the job. The former special operator nearly lost his grandson Max on the Capitol Building steps to a mass shooting that turns out to be intrinsically connected to Wilhyte’s looming plot. Also connected are the poisoning deaths of seven boys who attended the same Baltimore high school and the attempted murder of a young CDC official who happens to be the daughter of Brixton’s best friend, high-powered Washington lawyer Mackensie Smith.
That’s a lot to unwrap before we even get to former Baltimore homicide detective turned Capitol police officer Kelly Loftus who’s investigating that deadly shooting at the Capitol. The pooling of her efforts with Brixton’s becomes the narrative glue that connects the otherwise disparate elements of a plot that’s complex without being convoluted. In fact, Land doesn’t leave a single thread dangling, quite a feat for a tapestry woven out of so many strands.
Murder at the CDC is a no-holds-barred visionary tale, featuring a vision that’s truly horrifying. Lots more thrillers will be published in 2022, but it’s hard to conceive of one that’s more appropriately timed or societally relevant. Comparisons with other writers in this space are inevitable but Murder at the CDC is better than anything the likes of Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, or Brad Thor have ever fashioned, as Land stakes his claim to new turf in this fast, furious, and fantastic thriller.
You can order your copy from the Amazon link here.
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