Fans of the police procedural, you have a treat in store. Rich in
technical detail, THE PROTECTORS guides you step by step through
the efforts to save three kidnapped Spanish ambassadors and a
highly revered woman, Carmen de la Cruz, lovingly called "La
Tesora" --- The Treasure --- by her fellow nationals.
Detective Cisco Sanchez returns, with his partner Brian McKenna, to
thrill author Dan Mahoney's dedicated readers. Unlike his last
book, THE TWO CHINATOWNS, McKenna takes the lead. However, Sanchez
remains, in his own mind, the undisputed best detective in the
The action begins in Jaca, Spain, as Basque terrorists carry out
daring kidnappings there and, simultaneously, in New York City and
Paris. While McKenna works to free the Spanish ambassador in his
own country, his focus remains on his friend from the past, Carmen.
Even in Spain, kidnapping La Tesora is politically risky, so the
Basques hope to trigger a fast response, one favorable to their
cause. Well-loved among everyone, she cannot be harmed at any cost.
Fortunately, her right-hand man, Henri Picard, has free rein ---
and Carmen's large bank account at his disposal. He speaks
privately with her old friend, Detective McKenna. Picard has
sensitive information that may help the detectives, but extracts an
assurance it will not be divulged elsewhere unless absolutely
necessary. Following his meeting with Picard, McKenna manages to
get himself and Cisco on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. This is
more than his job; it's personal.
Once the New York team has the domestic problems wrapped up,
McKenna and Cisco head to Spain to join in the rescue plans there.
Through contacts and conjecture, the American detectives discover
that two rival terrorist groups and the Spanish police are
involved. Infiltrators have woven themselves throughout the
organizations, the result being cross information and crossfire.
Knowing where to place their trust becomes increasingly risky for
the duo. Danger lurks on every corner, literally, and in every car.
It seems that nearly everyone has a reason for seeing McKenna dead.
Meanwhile, Cisco runs his own investigation --- somewhere in the
background --- and gets his own results. The two compare notes and
arrive at the same conclusion.
Ultimately leading to Gibraltar, the story is garnished with the
area's intriguing culture and history, the author bringing the
place alive for his readers. He has us join McKenna on a walk
around the Rock, enjoying tourist areas while scoping out the
terrorists' setup, concentrating on the underground caves. By the
time it's all wrapped up, you'll want to book a trip there.
Dan Mahoney writes with the authenticity born of his 25 years with
the NYPD. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the
department is apparent on every page. He crafts an eerily
convincing scenario; no one will doubt its plausibility.
Aficionados of intricate plots will rejoice with THE PROTECTORS.
It's a quick read for such a complicated scheme, due to an
abundance of clever dialogue. The ending is a sizzler, one that
will leave you shaking your head.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 23, 2011