Title: Blue Madagascar
Author: Andrew Kaplan
Published on: 30 June 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
A US Presidential candidate is ahead in the polls and about to win the election. His sudden death shocks the nation. One of the news reporters, the first to arrive on the scene, wonders (loudly) on national television as to why did the candidate commit suicide.
A botched up jewel heist on the French Riviera during which an innocent bystander – an American national – is killed triggers what is known as the chase for ‘Blue Madagascar.’
When US Homeland Security Special Agent Casey Ramirez uncovers a clue leading to the real identity of the dead American national (during the jewel heist), she realizes she’s opened a Pandora’s box. The bad guys are after her – and there are two gangs, not just one. Bodies drop like flies and Casey must end the chase before she becomes the next victim.
Wow! What a fantastic thriller! Blue Madagascar is nothing short of an action-packed Hollywood movie-style story. The author, Andrew Kaplan, is known for his spy thrillers Homeland and Scorpion. Fingers crossed Blue Madagascar will be made into a TV series or a movie soon.
“There also have been screw-ups the public knows nothing about. The worst disaster in U.S. intelligence history was something called ‘Blue Madagascar.’ Five of the black stars on the CIA wall and the loss of U.S. Intel that left us blind for more than a decade was because of it. “
The story starts with the death of a presidential candidate. He was ahead in the polls and everybody was sure he’s going to win the election. His sudden death (which later turns out to be suicide) sends shockwaves across the nation. We are then told of the events leading to the aforementioned candidate’s demise – this accounts for about 95% of the book.
There are three POV characters. A notorious French jewel thief who’s part of the gang known as Blue Panthers. Then we have Casey, a US Homeland Security agent and Judge Brochard, a French government agent (lawyer/police). When the local French police are informed of the jewel heist that killed an American national, they are not aware of what’s to come. Bouchard is called to the morgue and the M.E. tells him the American national had a fake finger print inserted on his thumb. When Bouchard sends the details to American embassy, he is immediately asked to close the case.
Curiosity gets the better of Brochard and he wonders what’s the real identity of the dead man and why was he asked not to investigate. Meanwhile, Casey is on a mission in Panama City where she discovers a security deposit box belonging to the dead man. The two men who were on the mission with her are murdered and Casey barely manages to escape from the perps. On her return to US, she’s transferred to Homeland Security where she’s told of Blue Madagascar. She’s sent to France on a ‘wild goose’ chase – she’s to recover whatever the dead man was hiding – especially the files that might create destruction to the US government.
The three POV characters have their share of side stories. There’s another angle to the story: when the jewel heist happens, there’s a young woman with the American national. She pleads with the Blue Panther gang to take her with them. Mesmerized by her beauty, the gang agrees. The French police wonder why the woman tagged along. This is explored further as the chase for Blue Madagascar intensifies.
Excellent character portrayal and storytelling. The mystery behind ‘Blue Madagascar’ kept me guessing until the end. This is one of the best thrillers I have read this year. Mind-blowing, unputdownable and gripping thriller. Highly recommended!
I received an ARC from Smugglers Lane Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.