This is a full-length novel I downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (KU).
There is a plot to assassinate an unpopular President of the USA. Although it is successful, the hunt is on to find out who is behind the assassination. In The Memory Hunter by Colin Setterfield finding the assassin was not all that difficult; it was surprising that a man who headed up the protection detail assigned to the President’s wife was the shooter. He had successfully managed the killing and escaped but was caught by a new, experimental, as-yet-to-be-tried technology provisionally named “memory sweeper.”
The idea was that a person seeking information from another could enter another person’s mind and, by posing a series of questions containing keywords related to the information desired, provoke responses from the subject that would reveal information about past events in the subject’s recent history. This sounds like a dream of every police, spy, and intrusive government agency, like maybe the IRS.
The novel begins with a tipsy Secret Service agent who walks into a bar and hooks up with an innocent lady, Veronica. He reveals to her that there is something in his past that is about to be revealed. He can’t let that happen but feels devastated about the fact that he must comply with the demands of a blackmailer if he is going to keep his past secrets safe. That is all he told Veronica but the next morning Bob, recovering from a hangover, decides that he has already said too much. He kills Veronica. Prior to her death, Veronica felt the story she had heard was sufficiently strange that she wrote it in her diary and called her sister Gracie both to relate the story to her and say she had recorded it. Bob, both the soon-to-be assassin and currently head of a Secret Service detail, learns of the diary and knows that Gracie will soon arrive to pick it up. He waits, Gracie arrives, and Bob kills Gracie.
At least he thought he did. She survived, although in a comatose state with little hope for her recovery. After getting through layers of law enforcement, the reader ends up with Special Agent Dillon O’Malley who is aware of a new technology that might let them get into the mind of Gracie and discover clues as to information in the diary and the identity of her assailant. O’Malley meets Professor Lucas, main inventor of the technology, and Sam (also known as Pink), the lab assistant who supplies a hippie’s perspective and creativity to the stodgy Lucas as they develop the mind sweeper technology.
Lucas volunteers to enter Gracie’s mind. The ever-watchful and constantly-surveilling- everybody Bob arrives while the procedure is on-going and finally completes part of his mission by killing Gracie. Professor Lucas recovers from the intrusive procedure but with incomplete information which serves to motivate O’Malley to greater intense efforts to solve the case. Then the President is assassinated. Based on the incomplete information obtained from Gracie, O’Malley discovers Bob, Bob is arrested, and O’Malley thinks it is time for him to enter Bob’s brain to figure out the identities of all conspirators. O’Malley knows that Bob was being blackmailed. O’Malley needs to find out the incident for which Bob was being blackmailed and solve the mystery.
From here the novel moves through the scenario of a conspiracy that is too high up to fail but is attacked by a dedicated agent forced out of the bureaucracy aided by an unwilling scientist with an eccentric and beautiful assistant. Said assistant is also in love with the professor but willing to hook up with married Agent O’Malley. His marriage is failing, so why not?
This is a comfortable read. It doesn’t demand much of the reader to follow the story. There is a surprise ending which I did not see coming. I had my list of suspects for one of the conspirators who had an interesting code name. But I got it wrong. This is a nice, quick read to pass a weekend afternoon with.