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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
When a plane crashes on the ranch of former FBI agents Scott and Linda Williams, followed by the sound of gunfire, no one could ever have imagined the corruption racket that would be uncovered. The FBI is called in to investigate the cause of the crash and the identities of the dead bodies. Was the plane purposely shot down and by whom? Suddenly two of the dead bodies and a large sum of money are missing. Scott becomes the prime suspect. It is up to his wife to prove his innocence, and the discovery of a flash drive on the plane might hold the answer. Meanwhile, the owner of the plane, Carlos Alvarez, a master hacker, is wondering if his recent Pentagon hack holds the answers as to why someone would want to kill his colleagues on board. As details emerge about the crash, no one would have guessed that corruption would infiltrate the military and put the president's life in mortal danger.
From the first chapter, Malice in the Palace by Lawrence Shimkets grabbed my attention, and the author can certainly set a scene of tension and excitement. Each character had a unique personality and this was shown in their believable dialogue. I loved the strong and feisty female character of Linda, and also the cunning and intelligence of Alvarez. There were many twists and turns throughout the plot, and this kept me posing questions as to who was behind the crash and why. The author clearly has done research on computer hacking and criminal investigation as I thought every aspect of the plot was realistic. The plot moved forward constantly and the conflicts involving the assassination attempt and Scott's arrest were nail-biting. There were scenes of violence but they were totally needed for the plot and not too graphic. The ending was gripping and the epilogue was a great addition to the story, and maybe opened up the possibility of a sequel. If you enjoy a political thriller, then this book should be on your reading list.