The Third Man: A Medical Thriller, Brad Parker and Karen Richmond, Book 7

Geoffrey M Cooper

Publisher: Maine Authors Publishing Pages: 254 Price: (paperback) $18.95 ISBN: 9781633814028 Reviewed: March, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

In The Third Man, Geoffrey M. Cooper takes readers back to history’s darkest corners to confront an enemy considered long vanquished.

Having faced organized crime, human trafficking and multiple murders in their first half-dozen outings, Karen Richmond and Brad Parker have become quite the dynamic duo. Richmond is a former FBI agent and now with the Maine State Police, while her boyfriend Parker works as a cancer researcher and director of a research institute. As such, Richmond is puzzled when her boss requests she bring Parker to interview a nonagenarian FBI agent about a mysterious tranche of documents. It turns out the agent, Mark Carlson, is also a former SS officer who spied for the Allies, and he has quite the story to tell.

This deeper story unfolds in flashbacks with WWII Germany on the brink of defeat. Cooper introduces readers to Walter Muller, a German intelligence officer repurposed by the SS for a clandestine operation across the Atlantic. Tasked with infiltrating the U.S., Muller’s mission is as audacious as it is ghastly: to lay the groundwork for a Fourth Reich by exploiting the nascent field of DNA science. Muller is not alone in his dark quest; Catherine Freeman, a biologist with a keen interest in genetics, poses as his spouse, providing the scientific acumen needed for their sinister objectives. As Richmond and Parker delve deeper into the investigation, readers learn sordid details about a ghastly past attack on a synagogue and the involvement of the Ku Klux Klan.

Clearly comfortable with his protagonists by now, Cooper deftly balances historical context with contemporary suspense, but the narrative occasionally stumbles over implausible plot twists. Additionally, while the setup is intriguing and the chemistry between the two leads shines, too much exposition often diminishes the story’s momentum.

Still, falling between Robin Cook’s medical thrillers and Robert Parker’s Spenser potboilers isn’t a bad place to live—and this one hits a sweet spot for an entertaining airport read.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Ogunquit, Maine
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