Cheryl Colwell. The Land Lord. Inspired Fiction, 2017. Print.
The Land Lord was interesting to read for one reason. It was a political “technodude” book like those from Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and their ilk, but written by a woman. While it did have the political intrigue and a certain amount of suspense, it also had elements more typical of a romance marketed to women. It was interesting to see that combination. The plot was imaginative and entertaining.
Our protagonist is Dain Ryder, a Secret Service agent who had been involved in Treasury Department work like counterfeiting, but was reassigned to the presidential protection detail. The President is a former Marine whom Ryder worked for back when they were in the Corps together. President Bradley believes that someone or some power is trying to start a war between the United States and China, and he knows he can trust Ryder.
The title The Land Lord comes from the well-known statistic that Chinese investors often buy interest in American real estate. There have been some mysterious killings, and an anti-Chinese political movement in growing in the United States while a similar anti-American movement is growing in China.
Ryder is assigned by President Bradley to look into some Chinese organizations including a high-level martial arts studio and the secretive Wen Chang Institute which seems to centered in the laboratories of George Washington University in Washington DC.
The plot of The Land Lord is ingenious. There are a few surprise twists. Ryder falls for a martial artist and dancer from China who also teaches at GWU. We learn, however, that she has a hush-hush and fairly intimate relationship with the President, who is a widower. We learn that the President is a Christian and does try to convert both Dain and Chen Lian, the Chinese dancer.
While much of the story has echoes of a Clancy or Thor story—though I suspect the technology in this story is more like science fiction—the way Ryder and Chen fall in love has more of the elements of a Love Inspired or Harlequin romance. It does actually make it distinctive and fun from a slightly different perspective.
Statistics also show that women interested in science are more likely to go into the life sciences such as biology or medicine while men interested in science are more likely to head towards engineering or computing. The technology here is strictly life sciences: Wen Chang was a Chinese hero who supposedly found the secret to a long life. There is no unusual Red October propulsion system or anything similar in The Land Lord.
There may be a few rough spots in the book, but its ending is certainly entertaining and worth it to the reader. I believe this reviewer received a pre-publication copy of the book for there were many spelling errors. I thought Marshall Law [sic] was a person since it seemed like most of the characters had first names that are commonly last names (like Dain Ryder) and was capitalized. After puzzling over it, I realized that it was meant to be martial law. Also the book did not really understand the way the Chinese use names and the way they address each other. These annoyances are easily fixed, and hopefully they will be when the final copy comes out.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”