Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite *****Five Star
The Bodyguard is a historical romantic thriller novel written by Frances Powell. Michael fell in love with Maureen from the moment he saw her. He had first met her when he was assigned to protect the young American woman who was scheduled to take part in a summit on international terrorism being held in England. He had no idea what to expect, but the British agent was instantly drawn to her. The daughter of a high-level Agency official, Maureen was a skilled and formidable agent. Her life was shattered when assassins placed a bomb on the doorstep of the small house in Belfast where Maureen and her husband, Sean, had been working undercover to stop the flow of arms from American sympathizers to the IRA in 1972. Sean was killed by the blast, but Maureen was thrown clear of the house and was secretly transported to a hospital. When she was able to be released from the hospital, Michael arranged for her to be relocated from Belfast to the United States, and he had stayed by her side as a protector and a friend ever since then. Just recently, he had thought it safe enough for him to finally go back home to England. Six months later, he was on his way to identify her body after an assassin shot her in her home on Chesapeake Bay.
Frances Powell's historical romantic thriller, The Bodyguard, is a fast-paced and exciting story that recreates the tensions and turmoil of the 1960s created by the IRA in their fight to end the rule of Protestant Britain over Catholic Ireland. The author's research into and familiarity with the subject make this story work quite well, and I was especially fascinated with the part of the story that takes place in Belfast, where Sean and Maureen were working as a team. Michael, as Sean's best friend and the assigned bodyguard to Maureen, the woman he fell in love with from that first summit assignment, is a complex and complicated man whom the reader can't help but admire for his courage, resourcefulness and dedication, even at the cost of his own well-being. Powell's two main characters are brilliantly portrayed and are marvelous heroic figures. Watching them as they work to find the assassin and his paymaster, and put the decades-long case to rest, is a treat. Tightly plotted, suspenseful and well-written, The Bodyguard is highly recommended.