Reviewed by Michael McManus for Readers' Favorite
A Red Letter Day is the fourth book in The Red Menace series of books by James Mullaney. This story begins with an introduction to the main characters, Patrick “Podge” Becket, a wealthy businessman, who transforms in the The Red Menace, and Dr. Thaddeus Wainwright, a brilliant scientist and inventor. The Red Menace is part superhero and part spy, who possesses incredible abilities to create chaos and move almost unseen through dangerous situations. The gifted doctor, with whom he works, has invented a suit which, when worn in certain levels of shadow and light, renders the Menace almost invisible.
The opening scenes find the duo in Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya during the mid-1970s on a mission to send a message that the U.S. does not like the tack that the madman dictator has taken over a period of time. After delivering the message, the U.S. undercover agents return to American soil, only to be drawn into another dangerous situation. In 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died. It is widely known that he kept secret files on many well-known people during his tenure as the Directory of the FBI. When Podge and the doctor find their way back to the headquarters of MIC (a secret intelligence wing of the U.S. government), they are assigned the responsibility of finding those files. The files are believed to be held in a strange, impenetrable safe that is discovered on a property that was once owned by the former FBI Directory. Unfortunately, the safe has been stolen and no one knows who has taken it or where it is. It will take all of the Menace’s bravery and the doctor’s cunning to find it.
While the plot to A Red Letter Day is almost as chaotic as the main characters’ lives, it pulls you in and makes speculate on a myriad of outcomes. James Mullaney has created a partnership between two characters, which melds their combined capabilities to make a single, nearly indestructible force. I especially enjoyed the ending.