Title: Enemy Within (The Executive Office: Book Three)
Author: Tal Bauer
Length: 485 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: This final book in the Executive Office series is everything a thriller should be: exciting, enthralling, nerve-wracking, and, at times, gut-wrenching.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.
When everything falls apart, who do you trust?
President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.
Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.
Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.
As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.
Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?
Review: In this thrilling conclusion to Tal Bauer’s … Ok—I’m not really starting my review that way. Ha! But, some cliched phrases just beg to be used, don’t they?! 😀 In all seriousness, Tal Bauer’s Enemy Within IS thrilling. This final book in the Executive Office series is everything a thriller should be: exciting, enthralling, nerve-wracking, and, at times, gut-wrenching. As I said in my reviews of the previous books in this series, it’s a rollercoaster, all the way to the end.
I’m not joking when I say that everyone is in peril for about ninety percent of the book. Everyone. All the time. And basically no one can be trusted. We’ve got a mole at the White House and at least one traitor on Adam’s team. I was panicking at every turn. If Bauer’s intention was to make the reader as paranoid as everyone in the story, he’s done an excellent job. I was personally side-eyeing EVERYONE. Constantly. Mostly there were people who I desperately did NOT want to end up being dirty; but, truly, almost everyone was suspect.
There was a LOT going on in this book. Like…a lot. And, I think one definitely has to suspend disbelief in a story like this. Not in any negative way, but just in that sort of in-the-back-of-your-mind way where you know there wouldn’t really be this many attempts on someone’s life, or this many horrible things happening in a row, but you just tell yourself, ‘Hey! I’ve never been involved in a coup against the government before, so what the fuck do I know?!’ and you roll on. Heh, heh. It’s much like when you have to suspend disbelief while watching a great suspense or action movie—Will Smith’s Enemy of the State, or the newest Jason Bourne come to mind. It’s not like some of the things that happen are possible, or even likely, but it makes for a heart-pounding, fantastical story, and some incredible action sequences! I actually had to stop trying to catalog injuries or trying to decide whether or not a particular person would really have survived all of this mayhem. Yes, there was lots of action. Just let go, and enjoy.
There were particular scenes/bits/passages that were incredible. The submarine scenes were outstanding. So many of the scenes in the Arctic, Sasha with Kilaqqi and his tribe, the Jeep convoy crossing the ice, a couple of helicopter chase scenes…I can’t imagine the amount of research that Bauer put into these books. His knowledge is obviously extensive, and he brought every scene to life. As I’ve said before, though, it’s not only the action sequences that pack a punch. My most intense reactions came from some of the quieter, more emotional scenes. Adam and Faisal share a moment that is unbelievably intense and heart-wrenching. I’ve read the scene several times now, and I’m just completely in awe of it. In fact, I’m such a huge Faisal and Adam fangirl—I can’t wait to read more of them in future books or Bauer’s Bytes—and it’s honestly because their scenes, and the descriptions of Faisal’s beautiful home, and his and Adam’s love of the Islam faith come across as so vivid and real. I just love them.
Man, you guys, I’m exhausted after reading these books! What a great ride. These guys had to go through a lot to save the world, but they got there! Bauer did a nice job of tying up the loose ends, and there was some pretty spectacular justice served. 😉 If you love a ton of suspense and action with your romance, you will absolutely love this series. Thanks for such a fun reading experience, Tal!!
You can buy Enemy Within here: