On his first day on the job at the branch office in Portland, Washington, FBI Agent Zack Pomeroy is pulled into the manhunt for a plane hijacker called Dan Cooper. Zack is eager to make a good impression, so he goes with his partner Duke Magruder to Seattle, and later through the woods. Zack’s frustrated that he can’t call his life-partner, Phil, but he’s full-on engaged in the hunt.
This case becomes a bit of a mission for Zack, and he brings unique insight to it, as a gay man. Unfortunately, it’s 1971 and bringing the gay subculture into a case is unacceptable, considering the level of homophobia. The second Duke learns that Zack is gay—by horribly invading his privacy—Duke can’t wait to get Zack re-assigned. Zack isn’t taken seriously, and the case languishes.
The story spans four decades, so obviously it jumps forward by leaps and bounds. There is a sweet love between Zack and Phil, and I found myself a little irritated by his super down-low tactics, like not calling Phil when he was called away for days (including Thanksgiving!!) on the manhunt. Zack mentions that he and Phil have an open relationship, but that changes in this story. There were glimpses at romance, but it was more of a gay fiction story, for me. Zack and Phil recognize their deep love and make their life together, though we didn’t see much of that on the page. Again, huge gaps occur in the timeline.
It was a fun twist on the DB Cooper case, and, in a sense, a comical look at the “common wisdom” regarding the homophobia of the era. None of the FBI agents for conceive of a “limp-wristed queer” pulling off an audacious hijacking. Oh, the pity.