Marine One ~ by James W. Huston

After a week or so of heavy lit and an emotionally draining crime story,  I was so in the mood for a straightforward mystery. of the legal variety.    Lo and behold,  a friend sent a review today –  I usually appreciate and agree with his comments so I  did a sample and found it to be intriguing.   Good voice from Joe Barrett (I’ve liked him before) and so …. bought and downloaded.  (Thank you, Audible.)

Marine One
by James W. Huston
2009 / 336 pages
read by Joe Barrett – 12h 31m
rating:  B+  /   crime (legal )

First line:   “If my radio alarm had gone off, I would have known the president was dead.”  –

It’s said that the journey is more important than the destination but in this case- the ending  fell flat –  the journey was fun though.

Okay –  seems the presidential helicopter, Marine One,  bearing President James Adams (Adams 3) crashed one dark and extremely story night killing him and all crew and passengers.

Our 1st-person hero,  Mike Nolan, is a a trial attorney who also specializes in work for helicopter companies in addition to being a Marine Corps reserve helicopter pilot.   In this case the main company involved is the European company WorldCopter and the helicopter was made in France.   These clients are so on the ball they have Nolan at the scene while the bodies are still there – (even that of the pres).   Rachel,  Nolan’s assistant,  is great – a bit slow, but always willing to do what is necessary and gets results.   Fwiw,  Nolan is happily married and has a bottle of water when he’s bone-tired while the 35-year old Rachel seems to have unwillingly given up her unfortunate love life for work.

Other companies are involved of course – the tires manufacturer,  the engine manufacturer, etc.   This is to say nothing of the There is also the problem of human culpability,  error or even  murder.

Within hours, while Vice President Cunningham is being sworn in as President,   at least one Congressman has already screamed for an investigation and it may be that a noose is being prepared for GlobeCopter at the Justice Department – but they have to look at a number of possibilities including an accident, the weather,  and terrorism –  or the Chuck Collins,  the pilot whose animosity towards Adams is known.

Voice recorders and flight data recorders with animation and simulators added reveal nothing except a sudden unexplained uncontrollability,  but the information stops immediately prior to the actual crash – during a sudden pitch up.    It looked like  Chuck had done what he could do but ….

Nolan has to find the responsible part or party –  whatever – and there are certainly more suspects than GlobeCopter and Chuck.  While the government is investigating and going after GlobalCopter.   But its owner,  Marcel,  who also flies helicopters,  and his associates are trying to point to anything else – human error.   And then a civil suit gets going with one of the vilest attorneys I’ve ever encountered.

Huston is a good writer who knows exactly how to build suspense using dialogue between characters who are on edge and Nolan’s thinking.   And Nolan, our first person protagonist,  is a likable guy with a great sense of humor.   The only thing which kind of irritated was the ending –

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