Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rule of Nine: A Paul Mandriani Novel

The Rule of Nine: A Paul Madriani Novel
The Rule of Nine: A Paul Madriani Novel

by Steve Martini
William Morrow
June 2010

The Rule of Nine is the 11th novel that Steve Martini has written in the Paul Mandriani series. It is a sequel novel to the Guardian of Lies. The first nine novels were legal thrillers that centered on Mandriani as a defense attorney in the California legal system. In the last novel, Guardian of Lies and this one he has moved into the spy thriller genre. I don’t think that the plot and writing are near as strong in the last two books as in the earlier ones. Rule of Nine follows on the attempted nuclear attack in San Diego that was the core plot item in Guardian of Lies. One of the perpetrators of that attack stalks Mandriani, his daughter and other good guys. Another terrorist is planning attacks in NYC and Washington DC, with the US Supremem court as the ultimate target. The author introduces a love interest for Mandriani, Jocelyn Cole an NGO executive devoted to eliminating WMDs. As is usual with Martini’s books the characters are well drawn and developed enough that you care what happens to them. The plot progresses in a very straightforward way with few surprises. Mandriani and other good guys work to foil the attack but a number of loose ends are left for the inevitable follow-up in the 12th novel in this series.

While this was a good thriller read (I finished it in a little more than a day), I don’t think that Steve Martini fans will enjoy this book as well as some of his earlier ones. If you are looking for the terrorist/spy thrillers Vince Flynn and Brad Thor are better at it than Martini, if you are looking for legal thrillers try some of the earlier Martini books like The Judge, The Attorney, Prime Witness.


Gaby317 said...

Just visiting from the Book Review Party. I enjoyed reading your blog and reviews.


Unknown said...

I enjoyed several of Martini's earlier books, but haven't tried this "spy" idea. Hopefully he'll go back to his roots. Maybe he's bored w/ the character and wanted to jazz things up, but he should just invent another character, the way Michael Connolly has a few.

Carrie said...

Hi, stopping in from the Review Party. I am also a new follower!

Cackleberry Homestead said...

Interesting review - I'm reading this one and haven't read any of his Madriani books yet. I got this one for review and so far it's good, but if I think it's good and you are saying the others are better - I'm definitely going back to start at the beginning of the series. Thanks for sharing.