BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bea Reviews The Ultimatum by Dick Wolf

Publisher: William Morrow
Series: Jeremy Fisk #3
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Challenges: Finishing the Series | NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

When a leaker named Verlyn Merritt releases sensitive documents from the NYPD Intelligence Division to WikiLeaks, some of the deadliest criminals have access to Detective Jeremy Fisk’s unlisted home address. Within hours, three mysterious assailants arrive at his Sutton Place apartment. Who are they and why do they want Fisk dead?

Authorities quickly identify and arrest Merritt. But the case takes a sinister twist when threats are made by an anonymous third party if authorities don’t release Merritt immediately. Forced from his home and his bank accounts drained, Fisk confronts Chay Maryland, a reporter who has been covering Merritt’s case. Fisk wants the journalist’s help to get close to the leaker—to find out what Merritt really wants and who else is involved.

The investigation is nearly derailed when a serial sniper begins shooting people on the street who seem to have no connection to Merritt’s case. The killer’s aim is eerily accurate—and Fisk believes the shooter might be using a drone rigged with unusual sighting capabilities. Then the sniper contacts the New York Times and promises to kill one person every day, “for the greater good of the citizens of America.

With the clock ticking and millions of lives at stake, Fisk and Chay must find the mastermind before he can wreak havoc on a city paralyzed by fear.

Bea's Thoughts:

Although it's the third book in the series you can read this as a stand-alone, but it would be best appreciated if you read the other books first. Much of what happens stems from events in book two, "The Execution". My favorite is still the first book, "The Intercept".

In "The Ultimatum", Fisk is living off the grid, hiding out from people who want to kill him for events that happened in the previous book. Fisk gets involved with two different but related cases - a hacker who leaked government secrets and a killer who's randomly murdering people until the hacker is released. He is forced to work with a reporter and it's an uneasy alliance, with neither trusting the other. Wolf explores, though not deeply, the issues of public safety, the public's right to information, and the government's need/desire to withhold information in the interest of national security.

The story is full of twists and turns and kept me guessing. Full of action, the story is also a dream for readers who technology and gadgets. I'm not sure how many are real and how many were created for the story but some are scary, Big Brother in the extreme. In fact, much of the story was scarily plausible though a few things stretched credibility. There was a lot of techno babble, and government agency abbreviations were thrown around and most not explained. When we were given explanations, they were sometimes dry.

The book is light on character development and heavy on action but Wolf also has a keen eye for people's foibles and a quirky, sometimes dry humor. Fisk, despite working for New York City Intel and working with various government agencies is very much the lone, rogue hero, doing his own thing to solve his cases and bring about justice. When he works with others, he does so reluctantly and is usually disdainful of them. In the end, he gets the job done, but how many people will die first?

"The Ultimatum" wasn't quite as thrilling for me as the first book, but it's definitely suspenseful and kept me on my toes. The pacing could have been tighter and some of the professional speak toned down but it was an interesting story, and supremely relevant to our time.


  1. Although it's not your favourite book, it still sounds like a good read. I don't mind plenty of action in a read. Nice review Bea!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

    1. Thanks Naomi. I did still enjoy it but the first book set a high bar and the next two didn't quite make it.

  2. I haven't read this type of a book in a long time. I am glad this was a good for you. I will have to consider this series.

    1. If you like Law and Order on TV, you might like these.

  3. This sounds like a good series - not my usual cup of tea but I do occasionally indulge in this sort of thriller. Excellent review, Bea.


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