Michael Bradley's debut as a novelist could not be better. To begin with, he invents his own 16th town on Cape Cod called "Bridgeview" which anyone who knows the Cape will instantly realize is his own hometown of Bourne which straddles the Cape Cod Canal.
Without spoiling your fun, I will only say it has everything.
First the quiet, tourist-oriented seaside town is the scene of a near drowning of a retired Air Force General.
Then when the local police prove smarter than expected, everything changes.
As this political page-turner unfolds, readers are led to an unexpected and thoroughly believable conclusion that rogue government officials are trying to create an incident that can be used to justify American military retaliation against another nation.
It’s unusual for a first-time author to produce a ‘set’ of books, but that is what longtime Cape Cod journalist and newspaper publisher V.M. Bradley of Bourne has done with his two new political thrillers.
Readers are drawn into a search for a missing document intended only for the conspirator’s eyes, but then they begin to see how vicious the unknown plotters can be and how unconcerned they are with spilling the blood of other Americans in order to achieve their goals, which are draped in false patriotism, thus the books' title, "False Flag".
The conspirators' grab for power, if successful, will permanently change the United States through the creation of an incident with international ramifications.
The two books, False Flag, ‘A Fog of Conspiracy Darkens Cape Cod,’ and False Flag, ‘Dead Reckoning’ on right, can be read separately, yet they are a set, and the story they tell is best when told chronologically.
It is a story of corrupt political power at the highest levels of the executive branch, involving a plot initiated through the Defense Department and aimed at provoking a war against Iran.
The conspirators need a prominent location on American soil to stage an apparent attack by Iranian agents - known as a False Flag scenario - and it is determined no better location could be found than the nation’s most famous peninsula, Cape Cod.
Cape Cod's 16th town - Bridgeview
The Upper Cape is the focus of the plotter’s action because of its proximity to the huge, sprawling multi-service military base commonly known as Otis, which the Pentagon conspirators can easily and unobtrusively utilize as a staging area. But it is an adjacent town, Bridgeview, which tests of the False Flag scenario.
Local readers know there are only 15 towns on Cape Cod, and some will naturally assume that the fictional town of Bridgeview is in fact Bourne, the journalist author’s hometown.
But readers will soon realize that is not the case. The author's 16th town, Bridgeview, is in the middle of the Upper Cape, which the author explains was purposeful. As the story plays out the mystery involves all the towns that make up the Upper Cape, Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne.
Yet it is Bridgeview, the 16th town's story. It is the people of that town who bear the brunt of the conspiracy. And it is those people, those characters, who illustrate the strength and unexpected capability of average Cape Codders.
Huge cast of players
There are a number of central protagonists in the two False Flag books, not just one nearly superhuman hero, as is so often the case in thrillers. In fact, like the classic novelists of old, Bradley includes a 15 page glossary of characters and places at the end of Book Two.
The False Flag stories illustrate how in times of crisis there are many people who can rise to the occasion, sometimes even when they do not understand what it is they are facing.
Bridgeview is next to the huge military base - now officially known as Joint Base Cape Cod - and has within it residents with connections to the military. Not surprisingly, some of them also become enmeshed in the increasingly violent threat to their hometown.
It is the reactions and sometimes the interactions of these average people that serves to thwart the conspirators and, by doing so, drives the plotters to risk more than they expected in order to initiate the False Flag conspiracy.
False Flag is recommended to everyone who likes a good thriller and, particularly, to those who enjoy seeing a solid, well planned political conspiracy slowly but certainly unravel, in this case largely due to the efforts of Cape Codders.
The False Flag books have yet to be made available at local bookstores, but they can be purchased on-line at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Authorhouse.com. The e-books are $3.99 for book one, and $4.99 for book two.
Paperback editions are available from those outlets at $24.26 each and hardcover editions However, hardcover copies may be purchased locally, directly from the author, for $24.95 each or $39.95 for the two book set, not including packaging and postage if the books are to be mailed. Anyone interested in the hardcover editions should contact V.M. Bradley at 508-563-2835 and leave their name and telephone number. Author signed copies are also available.
Buy "FALSE FLAG: A fog of conspiracy darkens Cape Cod" today, and then buy the sequel "FALSE FLAG: Dead Reckoning".
About the author:
Mike Bradley is a longtime newspaper editor and publisher who lives in Bourne and publishes The Bradley Report. He is a former publisher of the MPG Comminications South Group of five newspapers, the Marion Sentinel, the Mattapoisett Sentinel, the Wareham Courier, the Bourne Courier and the Sandwich Village Broadsider.