The Pronghorn Conspiracy
The Donnie Ray Cuinn Series #5
River Grove Books, January 2021
This is the fifth and last in Boyd Taylor’s series featuring protagonist Donnie Ray Cuinn (pronounced like Quinn). I did not read the previous four books, but I didn’t feel like that made it difficult to understand the character. Donnie is a lawyer with a tragic past and a troubled present. Contemplating what life still holds for him and finding there isn’t much, he is unexpectedly summoned to a meeting with some high-level government officials, FBI agents, and Secret Service agents who inform him of a plot by a terrorist group which has kidnapped the President and is about to steal a weapon from a weapons manufacturing plant. They also inform Donnie that the terrorists will only negotiate with Donnie who finds this to be an extraordinary demand since he has no knowledge of the terrorist group and doesn’t know its leader.
Nonetheless, Donnie agrees to meet with the leader and see how he can help safeguard the President and prevent the loss of the weapon. But when he finally does meet with him, he still has no idea who the leader is or why he wanted to meet with Donnie. When the leader finally does reveal what the purpose of their theft of the weapon is, the plan is chilling and the leader’s connection to Donnie is surprising to say the least.
As you might expect, there is an attempt to escape with the President and stop the group from taking the weapon. I found that parts of this story stretched credulity so far that it nearly pulled me out of the story. I also found the President’s behavior in the rescue helicopter beyond absurd but since the similarities between this President and our latest former President cannot be missed, perhaps the behavior is not so unbelievable after all. The only other thing I found hard to understand is the relationship between Donnie and his wife, Rita. Maybe earlier novels in this series would make it clearer.
In any case, The Pronghorn Conspiracy is a fast read – just the thing for a lazy weekend.
Reviewed by Melinda Drew, July 2021.