The President discovers a daughter from a brief affair when he was young. Others discover the truth & kidnap her. The President has ten days to admit his daughter's existance or they will kill her. Sean Dillon is called in.
Pint-sized ex-IRA and ex-PLO operative Sean Dillon (Drink with the Devil, etc.), now with British Intelligence, finds himself working on behalf of the U.S. president in Higgins's disappointing latest. Dillon, Brigadier Charles Ferguson and Chief Inspector Hannah Bernstein are on the track of a Jewish extremist who calls himself Judas Maccabeus and is pressing President Jake Cazalet to sign off on a thorough bombing attack on Iraq, Iran and Syria. If Cazalet doesn't authorize the strikes, Judas will kill Contesse Marie de Brissac, Cazalet's illegitimate daughter, who was conceived in 1969 in Vietnam when Cazalet, then a Special Forces lieutenant, bedded Marie's mother. There are jaunts around the Mediterranean, with lots of kidnappings (and some subsequent releases), until Dillon leads a tiny band against Judas's clifftop villa on Corfu for an obligatory and rather perfunctory final shoot-out. Higgins comes up with an appealing new good guy in the person of Blake Johnson, a White House security miracle-worker, but this novel doesn't approach his action-packed par. Dillon and company spend as much time planning against Judas (and missing an obvious clue to his identity) as they do acting on their plans. Meanwhile, the badinage between Dillon and Bernstein adds more cuteness than wit. At novel's end, Dillon gets to visit the White House but not to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. Maybe British Intelligence should give him a raise; certainly, Higgins should give him a better showcase next time out. BOMC main selection. (May) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 01, 1998
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Excerpt from The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins
Jake Cazalet was twenty-six years old when it happened, the incident that was to have such a profound effect on the rest of his life.
His family were Boston Brahmins, well respected, his mother hugely wealthy, his father a successful attorney and Senator, which meant that the law seemed the natural way to go for young Jake. Harvard and the privileged life, and as a college student it was possible to avoid the draft and Vietnam seemed far away.
And Jake did well, a brilliant student who got an excellent degree and moved on to Harvard Law School with enormous success. A great future was predicted. He started on a doctorate, and then a strange thing happened.
For some time, he had been disturbed by the scenes from Vietnam, the way he saw that brutal war portrayed on television each night. Sometimes it seemed like a vision from hell. A sea change took place as he contrasted his comfortable life with what life seemed like over there. The ironic thing was that he could actually get by in Vietnamese, because at the age of thirteen he had lived in Vietnam, when his father had spent a year at the U.S. Embassy.
And then came the day in the cafeteria at college. People were lining up for the lunch counter, lots of new students, and amongst them one who was no more than twenty, dressed in white tee shirt and jeans like anyone else, books under one arm, the difference being that where his right arm had been there was now only a small stump. Most people ignored him, but one guy, a swaggering bully whose last name was Kimberley, turned to look at him.
"Hey, what's your name?"