Recap: Michael Chase is on a hunt for his father. He was told his father had died about 6 months ago, but with no body and no evidence, it was pretty hard to believe. So when he’s told that his father is still alive somewhere in China, he’s determined to find him, whatever the cost. Upon his arrival in Asia, he learns his father worked for the CIA and was deeply involved in a case involving a Nazi-related aircraft.
Meanwhile, across the Pacific Ocean, scientists are tracking a satellite that has been launched into space, has spiraled out of control, and is now heading directly for America’s West Coast.
How are these two things related? And how does Michael Chase find his father and save millions of people in California without getting himself killed? He meets up with Kate Shaw, another agent on a mission and together they work to uncover some of his father’s secrets. But she’s not the only one lending Michael Chase a helping hand.
Analysis: I’ll admit, when I first began reading Lethal Circuit, I had trouble getting into it. I couldn’t keep track of all the characters that were so suddenly introduced — many of them with Chinese and Japanese names. I had trouble determining who was “good” and who was “bad,” and I didn’t understand how the two seemingly separate plots were connected. Not to mention, the beginning felt like any thriller I’d ever read before. Nothing new here.
But as the story continued, the relationship between Michael and Kate grows stronger, and they become closer to locating the Nazi aircraft. That’s when I couldn’t put the book down. In retrospect, I realize that my frustrations with keeping track of who was a “good” and who was “bad” were not accidental. That was the point of the story — to keep the reader guessing, questioning who to trust. Initially, I thought obvious foreshadowing about the “bad guys” gave the whole story away. But in the end, I realized it was a huge set-up for a major twist ending. Lars Guignard makes us realize there are so few people we can honestly trust, and perception is everything.
Upon finishing the novel, I’m excited to see what comes next. Lethal Circuit is meant to be the first in a series of Michael Chase spy thrillers by Guignard. The major storyline was left wide open — a perfect setup for more books to come. But how will Michael Chase grow? How will Guignard keep us guessing? It’s hard to say, but I have every intention of reading on and finding out.
MVP: Michael Chase’s father. Throughout the novel, we get a glimpse of some flashbacks between Michael and his father. We learn where Michael came from, what his father taught him, and how Michael parlays that into everyday life. A father-son bond is a special one, and that much is evident here. Even though Michael’s father plays a small active role in the story, he’s there in every decision Michael makes, and that makes him commendable.