Summary: “This is a goddamn big story. It’ll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand.”
It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.
Enlisting the aid of friends who have discovered a way to hack into the government’s computer databases, and a beautiful young Indian Rights activist, Eva Buffalo Calf, Rick races full throttle through the streets of the nation’s capital to stay ahead of his pursuers as he searches for answers. When he discovers the killings have been orchestrated by a rogue CIA agent and his team of assassins, Rick isn’t surprised when his road to the truth leads directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
My thoughts: Sometimes I like to mix it up and read something outside the usual YA and NA books. And I’m glad I did that, because otherwise I would miss little gems like “Courier”. The premise of the book: Rick Putnam, a former vet suffering from PTSD, now a courier for a television station, finds himself in the middle of a “silencing job” when he picks up the film of an explosive story. Firstly, he needs to stay alive. Secondly, he has to find out that said secret. The story has a bit of action, a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and it seems more like a light thriller. The story happens in Washington DC, in the 70s.
The beginning felt a bit slow to me, until I got to this part:
Then he sat and waited.
Waited to do his work.
To stop the voices.
To restore silence.
That definitely got me hooked and I continued to read at a pretty fast pace. I also liked Rick and found the flashbacks helpful in contouring his character. He was pretty laid-back despite his issues from the Vietnam war, and was enjoyable to read. I also liked Eve, even though she appears little in the book. And the super geeks were a fun addition.
The action scenes were exhilarating, but I think they would have been even more breathtaking if the whole book was written in the present tense. I can’t really talk about the accuracy of the setting, as I have little idea how Washington DC was in the 70s, but for me it seemed pretty well described. I found interesting that the author included that tidbits about how gay people were perceived in that time and how they had to hide their identity. I also liked the allusions of corruption in the US government. Although, compared to my country in the present times, they were quite mild. Overall, it was a novel I enjoyed and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get cozy with a good thriller.
My rating: 4.5 stars
About the author: Author and long-time journalist Terry Irving moved to Washington D.C. in 1973 to kick around for a few weeks and never looked back.
In the nation’s capital, Irving started out riding a classic BMW R60/2 for ABC News during Watergate. Carrying that news film was the beginning of a 40-year career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news, writing everything from magazine articles to standup comedy and developing early forms of online media. He has traveled and worked in all 50 states plus parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.
Irving is the winner of four National Emmy Awards, multiple Peabody, DuPont and Telly awards, plus an honor at the Columbus Film Festival. He has produced stories around the world from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Tiananmen Square. He worked as a senior live control room producer at CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC. He wrote and edited copy for some of the top anchors and journalists in television news including Ted Koppel, Diane Sawyer, Wolf Blitzer, and Aaron Brown.
Irving is an active member of the International Thriller Writers and the Mystery Writers of America, and serves as a board member of the Foundation for Moral Courage.
Irving is the author of the on-going memoir “On the Road” and the self-help book “The Unemployed Guy’s Guide to Unemployment,” both published in 2012 by Rock Creek Consulting LLC. His debut novel “Courier” releases May 1, 2014 from Exhibit A Books, the crime fiction imprint of Angry Robot Books. It’s the first of several books planned for The Freelancer Series.
Irving and his wife live just outside Washington D.C. because their dog simply refuses to live anywhere else.
You can connect with Terry at: