Ethan has returned from his exile in Iowa and has moved into the White House residence with President Jack Spiers. They have committed themselves to each other and have taken a public stand as partners. Since Ethan is no longer part of the Secret Service, he is settling into his newly acquired role as First Gentleman of the United States. Not everyone is pleased with this new development, which sparks protests, outrage, and gossip. But Jack and Ethan have no intention of letting anything come between them. Except…General Madigan is still out there.
General Madigan has been a shadow since Ethan and Jack bested him. He’s amassing his own army and he’s striking back with a vengeance. He’s skilled and elusive and dangerous and has many contacts all over the world, with his primary mission being to bring down Jack and Ethan.
Jack does have one unlikely ally in the Russian president, but even with the two presidents, as well as the countries, growing closer together, there are still secrets left to tell. With Ethan heading up a covert operation to take down Madigan, it still seems that Madigan is able to be everywhere at once and there is incredible pressure seen from a global stage. The danger and tension continues to mount as Ethan tries to solidify his relationship with the man he loves, but there could be more than one final twist that could tear them apart forever.
Enemy of My Enemy is the direct follow up to Enemies of the State and I would strongly recommend reading the books in order. The book is set 15 years into the future, which allows the author to give us a sense of a familiar place while adding in a few futuristic advancements as well. When Jack and Ethan became an official couple in the first book, there was little pushback. That all changes here as the Republican Party, as well as other world leaders, attempt to distance themselves from the president. It’s an unprecedented time as it’s the first time an unmarried couple has shared the White House, as well as that couple consisting of two men.
Jack and Ethan find themselves up against former General Madigan who disappeared at the end of the first book. Madigan is a man with no limits and the couple has to deal with the cost of pushing past their own limits to take him down once and for all. Madigan has become a traitor and a terrorist and being a former General, he has had years of access to classified information. He’s many steps ahead of everyone leaving death in his wake with the ultimate end game being to divide and conquer.
The first part of the book offers a lot of politics and policy while still checking in with Jack and Ethan’s relationship. There is also a lot of movement in this book, from the White House to far-reaching corners of the globe, and the action is fast-paced and tightly written. With apparent knowledge of the political environment, Bauer spins an intelligent grasp of the inner workings of some areas of American government as the author wrote many strategic passages in an uncomplicated fashion. Also, as with the first book, there were many human interest moments of the action behind the scenes at the White House that made for intriguing reading. We also get to visit several points of view as well as visit many areas around the world. The book is well layered and multifaceted with many plotlines all coming together. There was a secondary love story for an intriguing couple that added yet another interesting element as the author visually renders multiple storylines with ease. I didn’t go into detail here as that’s the way this book works best.
This second installment of this series matched, if not surpassed, the first book with a fast-paced plot that twisted with double crossings and dirty deals. Political books are not often the ones I reach for first, but this book offers all the high stakes action and intrigue while still capitalizing on the romance. The overall plotline is not resolved as the many heroes in this book are left teetering in peril and there were a few new threads opened at the end of the book. Tal Bauer offers a smartly written series of books with characters and plot points that will leave you not only captivated, but anxiously seeking the next installment.