Countdown America by M.C. Fox
Isabella Bendel used to be a field agent for the CIA. After the death of her husband, she accepted a promotion to a supervisor position. One of the reasons she took the job was because it should have been a lot less dangerous. After all, she now had to manage a career while being single mother. Taking the promotion only made sense. She had no idea that her new role would make her a target for a terrorist organization.
Bendel is a smart agent with great instincts. So, one day while jogging, she noticed that she was being tailed and cleverly fought off an assassination attempt. Unfortunately, at the same time. the terrorists were also targeting her family. They kidnapped her two children and their grandmother.
The agency had no idea who the terrorists are or what they want. The would-be assassin even dies in custody from what appears to be a self-induced cyanide capsule. So with no leads, Bendel has to figure out how to save her family and figure out what the terrorists are after.
This was a quick and easy read. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. With the title of Countdown America, I expected some kind of clear and present danger where the CIA was fighting against time to prevent a national tragedy. In fact, we don’t even find out what it is until the final fifteen pages of the book. At this point, I just wanted to get through it and be done.
This book wanted to be a thriller but it didn’t pull me in. Even the “mole-in-the-agency” plot didn’t make any sense. This mole did nothing inside the CIA to affect the plot. Even worse, had the CIA not figured out that there was a mole, the terrorists would have been successful in their plot to destroy the country’s infrastructure.
If you know anything about the Internet, you will immediately shake your head and laugh when you discover what the terrorists were trying to do. Unfortunately, this happens in the final few pages of the book. So, you will probably be left with a bad taste in your mouth and start to think about all of the other problems in the story.
The novel was entertaining and light, despite the heavy subject matter. I didn’t hate it while reading it, but afterwards, I hated wasting my time and I could see everything wrong with the plot and the characterization. Too bad too, we could have used a great story with a strong female lead, and strong female characters.