Cover Image: Second Term

Second Term

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Dateline: September 2012. Benghazi. The US is hearing chatter about threats to the US embassy. DIA operative Cora Walker is dispatched to sort it out. She believes that the threats to the embassy and ambassador are real and recommends getting the hell out of Dodge. The main defensive force is overrun and the ground support where she is stationed is told to stand down.

STAND DOWN! With American lives at stake, she rejects the order and heads in where her team succeeds in saving some lives, but not the ambassador or the main staff. And her reputation as a crafty, creative, and ruthless leader under fire is established.

Dateline: December 2028. Washington, DC. Cora has left the military, done some local print and TV journalism near her SW Virginia home, birthed a daughter, and caught the eye of the national level journalism community. A job change puts her close to DC politics where her skills (and reputation) are noticed by Sarah Vasquez, the Speaker of the House, who hires Cora to be her press secretary.

Cora’s hiring is timely for the Speaker. The 2028 election has just been held. Incumbent President Timothy Locke has just been beaten in the general election. Beaten? Try thrashed. By 20 million votes. His policies and self-serving executive orders have been accepted only by the very far far far out right wingers. Tell me if this sounds familiar: the election was a fraud , invalid voting machines, inaccurate counts, foreign intervention, criminal activities by sitting senators and representatives. “God, Guns, and Locke and Load” chants roll across the nation. Weapons have been transported to DC and secured for the faithful to do what is right. Not to mention that a second term to save this country is the will of God to be orchestrated by God’s own chosen Supreme Leader. And that the only proper course of action is for the election not to be certified on January 6, 2029 and to swear Locke in for a 2nd term that evening.

Locke has so many in power in his pocket that he can command an army of loyalist National Guard to ensure that his wishes succeed. Cora’s job (amongst dozens of other tasks) is to protect the Speaker whom Locke has singled out as a primary target. In the days after Christmas, Locke has suspended habeas corpus and arrested numerous members of Congress who oppose him. And Cora has to work out a plan to get the Speaker safely out of the Capital and DC.

The stage is set for the failures of 2020 insurrection to be corrected. The morning on the 6th dawns cold but quiet. DC and Locke's team of loyalists have no clue about the storm that is Cora Walker in combat mode.

Holy crap. If this book doesn’t have you on the edge of your seat, nothing will. The history, the plot, the manipulation, the ‘who can I trust?’ questions in each chapter, the final reckoning. Not a pedestrian page in the book. Now I’ve read books that are so dense with plot-double cross-triple cross that it’s hard to keep the character’s loyalties straight. Where the action is so breathless, bombastic, and improbable to have even a hair’s-breath of reality.

Not this one. The step-by-step of Locke’s plan is frighteningly plausible and Cora’s response seems so realistic. And here’s what’s impressive: The is the author’s DEBUT NOVEL. Seriously? The maturity of writing, plot and character development is unreal. Now I like to read debut novels, maybe in hope of being on the front side of a ‘next big thing’. I remember reading Term Limits by a then unknown Vince Flynn and being blown away. Same for Brad Thor’s Lion of Lucerne and The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson. In the one hour since finishing Second Term, I’m ready to lump Adams in with those heavy hitters.

I’ll plagiarize a line from Bum Phillips (former head coach of the Houston Oilers NFL team). When asked if Earl Campbell what the greatest running back in the league, Phillips said, “He may not be in a class by himself, but it doesn’t take long to call the roll.” Thinking today the class of current political thriller authors has a new student and hero: JM Adams and Cora Walker. In short: one of the very best debut political thrillers I have ever read. Let's just hope he's not a one-hit wonder.

Another winner in a long line of winners from Oceanview Publishing. Thanks to Netgalley for making the advance reader copy available.

Publishing date is currently set for 17 October 2023. Mark the date on your calendar.

East Coast Don

Was this review helpful?

Cora Walker almost single-handedly fights terrorists in Benghazi. Years later, as aide to the Speaker of the House, she fights Americans determined to bring our government down.
For someone sick of Trump, it was hard for me to read about the Trump-like president in Second Term. The action in the latter part of the novel often seemed contrived and unnecessary. I didn't really enjoy the novel, sorry to say.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

The Second Terms starts with Cora Walker in 2012 where she's working undercover in Libya. In parts 2 and 3, it jumps to 2028 in DC where she is tasked with the difficult task of trying to save the country from turning into turmoil.

I want to start by saying that I think this is a really well written book. I did enjoy parts 1 and 3 more than part 2, I think just because part 2 was building up for part 3 and it was maybe not as action packed. I really felt like I was rooting for Cora and her return to her family by the end of the book.

I think my main critique is that I felt that one of the main focuses of the book is the politics itself where I did not feel like that was fully conveyed in the description. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it just was not fully what I was expecting.

Was this review helpful?