4 out of 4 stars
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Friendship City: Hanging by a Thread by Carl H. Mitchell is a crime novel set in 2058 about the destruction of a new city and a deadly virus that is ready to be released into the world. Friendship City results from two border towns, Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, merging to form one self-governed city. A political utopia where everyone can live peacefully in a crime-free, racist-free environment. The first nine months had been rocky because the former evil World Council leader, Jason Beck, tried to destroy the city. When Beck died in a helicopter crash, everyone thought the World Council had lost its power. Now, the city is trying to write its bill of rights.
Lenora Allison, President of the United States, tries to save Friendship City, but Ishmael, the new leader of the World Council, has other ideas. Recently, several acts of violence have occurred in the city. President Allison calls on Detective Nick Garvey to help her save Friendship City and locate seven barrels of a deadly virus ready to be released into the world. At the same time, Nick's daughter is in a coma in Houston, recovering from a severe beating by her boyfriend. She was moved to Friendship City for safety. With no clues to go on, how would they ever find seven barrels and prevent the release of the virus? Their fate lay in the hands of a young boy and his science project that might enable them to locate the barrels.
The character development in this book is excellent. The characters are believable and relatable, and most of them are prime examples of what honest, caring individuals should be. Still, others are not as amicable—those who have shown up to tear down what the citizens of Friendship City have built. There are 94 chapters in this 288-page book, but they are brief chapters and keep the story moving swiftly from page to page. A fun aspect I enjoyed is the author includes an appendix with Friendship City's "Bill of Rights and Obligations." In the end, Mitchell leaves the reader with a cliff-hanger, leaving room for a sequel.
My favorite thing about the book is how President Lenora Allison got down in the trenches and worked beside the detectives and secret service agents she had assigned to stop the planned deadly virus attack that would spread rapidly worldwide. President Allison wasn't a timid president who hid behind the secret service's coat-tails. She didn't sit in the bunker under the White House in Washington, D.C. The president wanted in on the action. She believed in taking risks. And besides that, she was a Republican president with a Democrat vice-president.
I can't think of anything I disliked about this book. The book is well-written and professionally edited. I only found a couple of typos, so to me, that indicates professional editing. There is some strong profanity but no erotic content. The storyline is intriguing and suspenseful as the reader follows the president, detectives, and secret service in their attempt to prevent the spread of the deadly virus throughout the world. The book is worthy of a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I recommend this book to adult crime novel lovers with the bonus attraction of a futuristic theme. Those struggling emotionally or physically from the current pandemic should probably avoid reading this book.
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