“Keep Calm”

by Mike Binder

(Henry Holt, $28)

You may know him as the writer/director of movies such as last year’s “Black or White” with Kevin Costner, but the Detroit-born, Birmingham-raised Binder apparently nursed aspirations to thriller writing. Like the political thrillers written by authors such as Lee Child, “Keep Calm” isn’t a book you’ll linger over, savoring the language. But he drops the reader down into modern-day London and takes us hurtling along with him on a fast-paced ride that makes putting the book aside difficult.

Binder’s Michigan-born and raised protagonist, Adam Tatum, is trying to put his life and marriage back together after an ill-advised break-in at the Michigan governor’s mansion (in a nice, topical touch, it happened during demonstrations over the political neophyte governor’s anti-union legislation).

Despite his best efforts, Tatum finds himself and his family in the midst of international intrigue, a bombing at the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing St. in London, in a scheme that can be traced to the top of Britain’s political system, and involves Britain cutting ties with the European Union.

The characters are plausible, the plot moves along at lightning speed, and not every move is telegraphed. It will be interesting to see how Binder the author progresses.

— Susan Whitall


Week ending 3/6/2016

Hardcover fiction

1. “The Gangster” by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott (Putnam)

2. “A Girl’s Guide to Moving On” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)

3. “NYPD Red 4” by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

4. “Cometh the Hour” by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin’s)

5. “Find Her” by Lisa Gardner (Dutton)

6. “Brotherhood in Death” by J.D. Robb (Berkley)

7. “Blue” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)

8. “A Few of the Girls” by Maeve Binchy (Knopf)

9. “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee (Harper)

10. “Rogue Lawyer” by John Grisham (Doubleday)

Publishers Weekly


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