I was looking for a mystery for this month’s Mystery Boot Camp, and I came across Alpha, the kind of book I love to read—suspense/thriller. Jad Bell, an experienced Delta Force operative, has been in many tough and dangerous situations fighting “bad guys.” Tracking the whisper of a large scale threat, Jad goes undercover at a theme park. At first, it seems like just another assignment, gathering information and waiting for the word to go into action. Then he finds out that his ex-wife and daughter will be at the park on a field trip. Is it a set-up? Could anyone possibly have known that he and his daughter would be at the theme park at the same time? If it has nothing to do with him, what is the real agenda and who is behind it?
Already investigating one dead body, the very last thing Jad wants is for the body count to rise. With his daughter’s presence threatening to undermine his professional calm, Jad must put aside his personal feelings and do his job—or else, the consequences are unthinkable.
The horror of a terrorist plot takes place in a setting that is the opposite of horror—WilsonVille theme park—home of Gordo, Betsy and their dog pooch; the many incarnations of Flashman; the Flower Sisters; and Agent Rose. The details of the park and its layout, including a map, lend authenticity to the plot.
Alpha is a fast-paced read, reminiscent of Lincoln Child’s Utopia, which also involves plots and threats in a theme park.