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The White House connection

Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, ©1999.
Physical Description:
323 pages ; 24 cm
Number in series:
An American widow after a British lord turns avenger when her son is gunned down by Irish terrorists. Lady Helen Lang, who is in her sixties, uses a revolver, a computer and a government file.


Call Number
Higgins Sean Dillon v.7
FIC HIGGINS Sean Dillon #7

On Order



For many years, Jack Higgins's "battalions of loyal fans" (People) have delighted in his "rip-roaring, satisfying stories" (AP), novels of honor and bravery and irresistible intrigue. "Readers get exactly what they hope for from Higgins," says Publishers Weekly, and never has that been truer than for his new thriller, The White House Connection.New York: Late at night, the rain pouring down, a well-dressed woman in her sixties stands in a doorway, a gun in her purse, waiting for a Senator to come home.Washington, D.C.: The phone rings on the desk of Blake Johnson, head of the White House department known as The Basement. The President wants him now.London: The Prime Minister sits thinking of Sean Dillon, the one-time terrorist, now his most effective, if not exactly trusted, operative. It'll have to be Dillon, he thinks. There's no one else.Someone is killing off the members of a splinter group known as the Sons of Erin, normally not a cause for much concern, but the consequences are much greater than anyone realizes. For in these actions lie the seeds of disaster: the fall of two governments, the derailing of the Irish peace process. Dillon and Johnson must stop this unknown assassin, the heads of state agree, quickly, quietly, before all hell breaks loose'.'But they may already be too late. For in the Manhattan night, the silver-haired woman smiles, adjusts her rain hat more snugly on her head, and steps out into the street. Four down, she thinks.Three to go.Jack Higgins has written thrilling adventures before, but none as multilayered, surprising, and suspenseful as The White House Connection. It is the master working truly at the height of his powers.Jack Higgins lives on Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Author Notes

Jack Higgins is a writer and educator, born in Newcastle, England on July 17, 1929. The name is the pseudonym of Harry Patterson. He also wrote under the names of Martin Fallon, James Graham, and Hugh Marlowe during his early writing career. He attended Leeds Training College and eventually graduated from the University of London in 1962 with a B.S. degree in Sociology.

Higgins held a series of jobs, including a stint as a non-commissioned officer in the Royal House of Guards serving on the German border during the Cold War. He taught at Leeds College of Commerce and James Graham College. He has written more than 60 books including The Eagle Has Landed, Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown, and Eye of the Storm. Higgins is also the author of the Sean Dillon series. His novels have since sold over 250 million copies and been translated into fifty-five languages.

His title's The Death Trade and Rain on the Dead made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Irish peace process is at risk because of the actions of a heartbroken mother in Higgins's 29th thriller. American-born and married to a British lord, 60-ish Lady Helen Lang, the "nicest person you'll ever meet," has taken it upon herself to avenge the brutal death of her son, Peter, at the hands of the Sons of Erin, a fringe Irish-nationalist group led by a psychotic Vietnam vet and with operatives in Dublin, London and the U.S. Other members include gangster Tim Pat Ryan, IRA terrorist Jack Barry, U.S. Senator Michael Cohan and a mysterious member known only as the Connection, who is revealed to be a mole in the White House. With nothing more than an old government file, a modified computer and a .25 revolver, Lady Helen makes short work of most of these villains, managing at one point to knock off three of them in four paragraphs. Naturally, this wholesale violence attracts the attention of Higgins regulars Brigadier Charles Ferguson and Sean Dillon, who try to protect Senator Cohan during his upcoming visit to London. It's not giving away any surprises to reveal that eventually the bad guys get theirs, but there are precious few surprises here, and a bloodless, cartoonish quality to everything from the dialogue to the killings. Higgins's attempt at characterizations are unpersuasive at bestÄto prove that she's really a decent sort, Lady Helen passes up a chance to kill Senator Cohan in favor of shooting a couple of muggersÄand as usual, Sean Dillon's prowess as a gunman includes the ability to outshoot men who have already drawn a gun on him. As for the style, everything is fast, flat and featureless, like driving a car on cruise control in Kansas. Higgins's fans may be pleased, but other readers will probably want a more exciting ride. BOMC main selection. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

The Irish peace process is at risk in a listless thriller short on twists and devoid of tingles. Somebody's been gunning down the Sons of Erin, a terrorist group famous for gunning down others. In the interests of the peace process, this has to be stopped, say the American President and the English Prime Minister. Call out the clandestine hotshots. On the British side, that means Brigadier Charles Ferguson, cool of manner, clipped of speech, plus the redoubtable ex-terrorist Sean Dillon and Chief Inspector Hannah Bernstein, who have helped save Western Civ in several of Higgins's 29 novels (Flight of Eagles, 1998, etc.). It soon becomes evident that there is nothing political about the Sons of Erin offings. Those boys are being done in by Lady Helen Lang, a widow of mature years and the mother of an intelligence officer brutally slain by the group she is decimating. Lady Helen is not only lethal and determined, she also has remarkable ears. She overhears President Cazalet and his chums discussing the identity of an inner-circle spy. The President is in his apartment; Lady Helen is outside, below in the garden shrubbery. (Come now, Mr. Higgins!) Early on, Higgins deserts what there is of plot, yielding to a career-long passion for chases and shoot-outs. The current quarry is a villainous terrorist named Jack Barry. But he's one of those Moriarity-like villains, endlessly elusive. Finally, the ailing Lady Helen (a dicey heart) entices him to meet, man to woman, at her Norfolk estate. She has him in her gun-sights, and then, yet again, Dillon, that nine-lived devil, does his thing. But trust him to see to it that Lady Helen can die happy. At final curtain, Dillon says to Bernstein, ``Do you ever feel tired, my love? Really tired?'' It's a question that might, with relevance, be put to the author. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)

Booklist Review

When it comes to thrillers, Jack Higgins wrote the book. In fact, he wrote lots of them, and this is one of the best. The British and American superoperatives featured in The President's Daughter (1997) are now on the trail of whoever is executing American members of a rogue group called the Sons of Erin. The same shooter has also nailed a pair of would-be rapists. By the time they connect what at first appear to be unrelated killings, a leading London gangster, also in the group, has been taken out. Now all that remain of the Sons of Erin are Irish terrorist Jack Barry and a highly placed White House insider known only as the Connection. Although they realize the executioner is the very proper Lady Helen Lang, Boston-born widow of an English nobleman and mother of a tortured and murdered young officer, proving it is another matter. A very entertaining read. --Budd Arthur

Library Journal Review

Jack Higgins is the best-known pseudonym of Harry Patterson, who has written over 60 novelsÄa dozen of them best sellersÄthat have been translated into numerous languages. Several of his thrillers, most recently The President's Daughter (LJ 5/1/97), have involved the characters who appear here. Sean Dillon, a former IRA gunman, now works for the British prime minister; Blake Johnson heads a secret office for the U.S. president. Both have their various talents severely tested while trying to stop a vengeful 66-year-old woman who is assassinating members of the Sons of Erin, including a senator, thereby threatening both governments. A mole in the White House frustrates Dillon's and Blake's efforts, but readers may be more frustrated by the shallow characterization and lifeless dialog. Nevertheless, the legions of Higgins fans will surely devour this as they have so many others, and libraries should be prepared. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/99.]ÄRoland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.