“A first rate thriller packed with marvelous insider knowledge and richly drawn characters. I couldn’t put down this electrifying, authentic, and well-crafted novel.” —Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author
“Verisimilitude means the appearance of being true or real’ and Karna Small Bodman’s new novel has it in abundance. You will endure a good deal of nail-biting before you get to the end of this, not to mention the heart-stopping action surrounding the countdown. With this book and its predecessors, author Bodman has successfully created a new subgenre: The Washington high-tech thriller.” —The Washington Times
“Karna Small Bodman gives us an insider’s view of a frightening situation that seems all too real. Fast-paced and suspenseful, romantic and ultimately hopeful, Final Finesse is up-all-night reading at its best.” —Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author of Just Breathe
“Final Finesse is a political thrill ride with unpredictable, hair-raising roller-coaster turns, made even more spellbinding by the authentic White House details provided by Karna Small Bodman. A White House insider’s look at terrorism that will keep you up all night!” —Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of A Stranger’s Game
Samantha Reid, the White House Deputy Director for Homeland Security, deals with national security threats on a daily basis. When a natural-gas pipeline explodes in America’s heartland, she senses pending disaster and tries to convince reluctant officials to take action.
After several more explosions, Samantha teams up with Tripp Adams, Vice President of GeoGlobal Oil & Gas, owner of the pipelines, to investigate.
As they race to solve the mystery of the explosions and determine the motives of the shadowy group behind the havoc, Samantha and Tripp spend days . . . and nights . . . together, growing ever closer. Then Tripp is sent on a business trip to South America-and disappears.
Now Samantha must deal with political intrigue at the highest levels, finesse international plots, and break all the White House rules as she races to find Tripp and stop the team of foreign agents before they carry out their final deadly scheme.
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||9.50(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.09(d)|
About the Author
Karna Bodman served as White House Deputy Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan and was subsequently appointed as Senior Director and spokesman for the National Security Council. She attended arms control talks with the Soviets and traveled with the team that briefed the leaders of Great Britain, France and Italy as well as Pope John Paul II. When Karna left The White House to become Senior Vice President of a Public Affairs firm, she was the highest ranking woman on The White House staff. Karna's thrillers include CASTLE BRAVO, CHECKMATE, GAMBIT, FINAL FINESSE,and her short story, THE AGENT. Her next thriller is titled, TRUST BUT VERIFY. She is married to Dick Bodman and they maintain homes in Naples, Florida, Washington, D.C. and Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
Read an Excerpt
GeorgeTown—Monday Early Morning
"All nonessential White House employees remain home due to ice storm. Update in four hours."
Samantha Reid stared at the e-mail and pushed a strand of her long brown hair back off her forehead. She knew that most everyone would try to show up for work today because nobody wanted to be thought of as "nonessential." At least she had a four- wheel- drive jeep she'd been driving for years. Not the most chic car that regularly parked on West Exec, the driveway separating the West Wing from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—or EEOB, as they all called the big Empire place that housed most of the staff—but it was a car she'd bought near her parents' home in Texas, where everybody drives jeeps.
She glanced out the picture window of her tiny Georgetown apartment overlooking the Whitehurst Freeway. Just beyond was a narrow park lining the Potomac River, its trees weighted down with icicles. To the right, the Key Bridge was silhouetted in the dim predawn light where a lone taxi, trying to navigate the icy roadway, suddenly spun out and slammed into a guardrail.
Good Lord, she thought. It may look like a scene out of Swan Lake, but it really is treacherous out there. She had known a front was moving in, but an ice storm in early December didn't happen all that often and nobody had predicted it would be this bad.
She looked down at her computer again. She always checked her e-mail when she first woke up, as she often got urgent messages from her boss, the head of the White House Office of Homeland Security. They had been working practically round the clock on a whole list of issues and new safety measures, coordinating with the agencies, following up on tips and executing Presidential orders. She had stayed late last night summarizing the fallout from a threat to a big shopping center made the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, that one turned out to be a hoax.
Today she knew they would be focusing on other problems, including a new missile defense system they were trying to get deployed on a number of commercial airplanes. She checked her schedule and remembered that a group of airline executives were due for an 11:00 a.m. meeting in the Roosevelt Room. The mastermind of a new 360- degree laser defense, Dr. Cameron Talbot, was supposed to join the airline officers. But now, with the storm raging, she doubted if any of them would make it in.
She also had a meeting to follow up on an attack on the Metro. Transit cops had nailed a guy trying to leave a backpack filled with explosives on board a D.C. train headed for the Pentagon. When the Metro was built, some genius had designed a stop directly underneath the building. What were they thinking?
She shoved her computer aside and padded into the tiny galley kitchen. It looked like it could have fit into a train, with shallow cabinets on two walls, sparse counter space, and a stove that was a relic from the eighties. Her whole condo was less than four hundred square feet, but she had gladly exchanged size for the convenience of a Georgetown address that put her within minutes of the White House, though this morning, inching along the icy Washington streets, she'd be lucky if she'd make it in an hour's time.
She flicked on the small TV set that took up way too much space on the kitchen counter and heard a commercial advertising a new drug. There were pictures of a kindly- looking grandmother pushing a laughing child on a swing while the announcer said in the tone of an afterthought, "Side effects could include dizziness, nausea, muscle weakness, weight gain, and, in rare cases, temporary loss of vision, coma, or stroke." She shook her head at the absurdity of it all, but then heard the news anchor come back on with the weather report. His map showed a wide swath of storms, snow, and ice reaching from Oklahoma all the way up to Delaware, with D.C. on the leading edge.
She measured the coffee, stuck an English muffin into the toaster, and checked her watch. She'd have to skip her morning workout in the basement fitness center. With the added commute time, maybe they'd delay their usual early- morning staff meeting, but she couldn't take that chance. As she reached for a coffee mug, she made a mental note to remind her boss about his appearance on CNN at noon to discuss the Metro train arrest and the shopping center situation. She knew she'd have to write his talking points, but wondered what other potential disaster would have to be added at the last minute.
Excerpted from Final Finesse by Karna Small Bodman.
Copyright © 2009 by Karna Small Bodman.
Published in May 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
White House Deputy Director for Homeland Security Samantha Reid has been quietly making her boss look good for a long time. When natural gas line explosions begin happening in America's heartland, Samantha's background in the oil industry makes her sit up and pay attention, even though the explosions are not deemed worthy of White House attention according to her boss, in "Final Finesse." When a vice president of the gas company in charge of the lines that exploded requests a meeting with Samantha, she readily accepts, wanting to dig deeper into this mystery and perhaps prevent more deaths and suffering. When the gas company vice president happens to be Tripp Adams, a gorgeous man whom she went to college with, all the better for Samantha! Samantha and Tripp quickly mesh, both in their agenda to fix the gas line problem and in their personal lives. Then, only a week after being a couple, Tripp has to travel to South America for business negotiations, and Samantha troubles over what she'll do without him at Christmastime. Little does she know, her worries about Tripp are far worse than she thinks. Upon arriving in South America, Tripp is taken hostage for ransom by South American gunmen. Samantha is torn between staying home and championing her cause to figure out the gas explosions, or to head to South America to help with the plan to extricate Tripp. But heck, she's a woman-hear her roar-so why can't she do both? A polictical/romance, former White House Senior Director Bodman's third novel is interesting, but drags in places. A little tighter editing could have made the book a little more exciting.
During a particularly wintry cold spell in Oklahoma, a natural-gas pipeline explodes leaving one person dead and thousands without heat. White House Deputy Director for Homeland Security Samantha Reid leads the investigation in determining the cause. More explosions occur to the pipeline leaving many to wonder if terrorism is the root cause. When Reid meets the pipeline's company GeoGlobal Oil & Gas Vice President Tripp Adams, she immediately wants him. He appears to reciprocate. When he vanishes without a trace while on a business trip in Venezuela, Reid dumps her work and goes AWOL to rescue him. This exciting political romantic suspense thriller takes off from the onset as the temperature in the home of a Sooner couple drops to 30 degrees and never slows down until the final energy segue in the State of the Union address. The story line is fast-paced especially when Reid and Tripp meet for the first time. Although readers will doubt a high ranking political appointee would abandon her post even for love and use her body to gain access on her quest to save Tripp, fans will appreciate this exhilarating tale as Karna Small Bodman once again combines strange bedfellows; romance and politics (see CHECKMATE and GAMBIT). Harriet Klausner