Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Room 1515 by Bill Wetterman

Room 1515 is a complex spy thriller in which the author, Bill Wetterman, follows the format popular in many Robert Ludlum novels.  At stake here is world domination by the World Financial Corporation (WFC).


The centerpiece of the story is the struggle of Agent Peacock, Laverna Smythe, who falls in love with the head of  WFC, Arthur Pendleton.   Pendelton is an enigma.  Is he a caring person who wants to end war and poverty or a ruthless monster who wants to rule the world?    There is little doubt about Ms. Smythe, who describes herself as "an adultress, a murderess, and pawn in a dangerous political game." 


The story is a  muddled with WFC's conspiracy with Great Britain and her PM, Ms. Claymore, planning to end the spread of Islam into Europe by assassinating the American President,  seizing control of  US missiles to attack Iran and Israel, and arranging for Russia to attack Iran. 


Meanwhile Agent Peacock, who works for an organization called Hercules, gets orders via a transmitter in her head and oversees a group of spies/prostitutes in her office, Room 1515 at the Emerald Hotel.  Peacock's ladies use their charms to gain information and arrange liasons between elected officials and lobbyists.  Peacock is assigned to get cozy with Pendelton, who falls for her like a school boy's first love, to learn what his organization is planning in the arena of world domination.  She gets close all right to the extent of becoming Mrs. Pendelton.  It is a strange relationship where the two jet setters have sex in mansions in Europe and the United States while Pendelton plans the make the world a better place regardless of the means and Laverna or Lovely, don't know where she picked up that nickname, escapes from and/or kills enemy agents. 


A plethora of the usual bad guys - sleazy Congressmen, devious executives, and thugs -  populate  the book.  They are dispatched, as ordered by her boss, Ursa, with relative ease by the cold- blooded killer Peacock.  Somehow her desire to listen to her biological clock and breed super offspring with Pendelton doesn't seem to mesh with her amoral persona.  I just can't see her playing the dutiful wife and joining the PTA.  Soccer/cheerleader mom is a possibility, though.  


In spite of her proper upbringing, there is little to like in Laverna Smythe and that is the novel's biggest problem.  Without redeeming values or an explanation of what messed he up, we are left with trying to bond with a thoroughly dislikeable character.  Pendelton comes off better in the "guy who I'd like to have a beer with category."  Still he is the brains behind the whole criminal enterprise. 


Bill Wetterman is a retired vice president from Wolters Search Firm. He has been writing for four years and has published short stories. In May 2011, Room 1515 won first place in the Mystery, Suspense, Thriller category at the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Conference

We were provided with a pdf copy of this book.


We give Room 1515,