Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Burn Notice: The End Game - Tod Goldberg


Burn Notice: The End Game
Tod Goldberg
Obsidian

Mystery/Thriller/TV

When you’re a spy, even a yacht race can be dangerous. Michael Westen spent years working as a spy, until someone, somewhere, burned him. That is, removed all his clearances, froze all his accounts, and dumped him in Miami for the foreseeable future. Miami is Michael’s hometown, and his mother and brother still live there. That’s either good news or bad news, depending on your point of view. In the mostly-good-news department is the fact that Sam Axe, former Navy SEAL and longtime friend, also lives and drinks in Miami. He also occasionally finds ‘side jobs’ for Michael. These side jobs are never as easy as they sound. Michael’s sort-of-ex, Fiona, a woman well versed in every piece of hardware one human being can use to disassemble many others, decided to hang around, too.

The yacht race in question is the Hurricane Cup. A bunch of lovely yachts race from Miami to the Bahamas. This is a high-stakes event and the luxury goods sponsors throw a weeklong party to celebrate and to convince the wealthy that they really need that extra Rolex and matching Porsche. The helmsman of one of the yachts is Gennaro Stefania. Through some tenuous connection, he’s contacted Sam about contacting Michael. Gennaro needs help. He’s involved with some people in organized crime. Now those people want him to throw the race. They’re very specific: do not simply withdraw, but do not win, or we kill your wife and daughter. To prove their point, they provide live surveillance video of the wife and child. For a variety of reasons, Michael feels compelled to help.

The author (BURN NOTICE: THE FIX) does a fantastic job of capturing the feel of the TV series here. The characters speak and act perfectly within their parameters from the show. Readers who are also fans should know that this plotline in no way spoils anything having to do with Michael and his quest to find and deal with those who burned him. This story is a standalone and could fit in anywhere in the series. Readers who have never seen the show will probably want to check it out after reading this, and will have no problem understanding the history. The pacing moves along at a good clip, and the case is quite interesting. Fans waiting for the new season to start will find this a welcome diversion.

Rating: 7 ½
May 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22676-1 (paperback)

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