Fern Michaels, Under the Radar

Posted November 9, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Under the Radar (Sisterhood, #13)Under the Radar by Fern Michaels
Series: Sisterhood, 13
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thirteenth in the Sisterhood vengeance-suspense series based on a group of women seeking justice for those who can’t find it in the existing legal system. This particular story takes part mostly in Utah.

My Take

This story is a perfect example of how stupid the women are! They have been going on forever and ever about how they don’t need no steenking men and, in this story, when Charles takes off, they practically blackmail the guy into giving up his computer password because…listen up…they can’t accomplish this next mission without…pay attention…Charles’ contacts. Men.

That’s another thing. Charles has a family crisis, admittedly, a family he didn’t know existed, but still, a crisis. He’s a nice guy. So how do the women react? You know, the women whom Charles has supported in their crises for years now??? They shit all over the poor guy. 


Oh no. Please. Please, don’t tell me that Charles Martin invented the title, “Her Royal Majesty”… Really? I didn’t know one couldn’t get a cup of coffee in England. I mean, I do enjoy the fact that tea used to be automatically served up in England the way servers automatically assume here in America that you drink coffee. But my ex-, an Englishman with an addiction to coffee, never had any trouble getting coffee. And the last time I was in England, it was a lot harder to find a cup of tea.

Oh, yeah. Right. Myra is threatening Charles with how her people will whip his people’s ass. What a child she is! A bitchy, tantrum-throwing child. If Charles is smart, he’ll never go back to her.

The entire story is one dithering, unplanned runaround after another. Thank god for one of Charles’ MEN who is able to pull transportation together, handle the bad guys, and blow up the compound because it sure wouldn’t have happened with this bunch of dithering idiots in charge!

There’s the scene where the director of the FBI, Harry, Joe, and Jack have two sheriff deputies and the sheriff tied up and the sisters come out to harass the prisoners. Damn good thing they’re planning on “doing away” with them or it just might leak out about the FBI’s collusion with fugitives…!

Although, I’m still trying to figure out why it’s so important to blow the compound up. The ladies are having the HOE men sign everything else over to them so why not simply have them sign this land over and keep the buildings?? I don’t get it. I understand that it would be best to get the victims away from the place and the town that supported their actions, but they could have sold the place as is and used the money to help the victims.

That’s it?? That’s the brilliant plan with the pumpkins…??? Guess Michaels and her advisers ran out of wine.

Michaels makes me nuts. She just throws these scenarios out here and expects that they’ll make sense. I swear, she must get together with some friends and get really drunk. Everyone then makes a suggestion and the stupider it is, the more likely it is to get used.

The Story

While on a mission, former Supreme Court Justice Pearl Barnes comes across a bus of pregnant teens in a ditch with a dead driver. Once Pearl ascertains the girls’ origins, she boards them onto her bus and drives off to one of her safe houses. Naturally, even though Pearl has been handling clandestine groups of women and children for years, Pearl hasn’t a clue what to do with the ladies and calls upon the Sisterhood for help. Too bad for Pearl that just that night, Charles received an urgent call taking him away from the Mountain.

Now Pearl is stuck with the Keystone Kops.

The Characters

Yup, everybody’s here. Just in different ways. Charles Martin got a call from Liz about a son he never knew and takes off for England with Myra Rutledge just barely catching a ride and leaving the ladies on their own. Alexis and Joe Espinosa, one of the Post’s reporters, are getting set up for a romance—looks like I was wrong when I thought a CIA operative, Chuck Dalton, from Collateral Damage was going to be with her. Lizzie Fox pulls in her new partner, Cosmo Cricket (lawyer for the Nevada Gaming Commission), to help out. Liz will be representing Marion Jennings and several other ladies who escaped from one of these cult compounds and ensuring their safety after the ladies have given their interviews as a further nail in the polygamous coffin.

Former Supreme Court Justice Pearl Barnes calls in the early morning hours just after Charles and Myra leave with her own crisis and the ladies spend hours dithering over Pearl’s problem like a bunch of headless chickens when a fox is raiding the coop. The one practical action they manage is to call everyone on the second team so they can stir them up.

As Editor in Chief at the Washington Post, Maggie Spritzer supports the sisters with a barrage of front page articles lambasting the Heaven on Earth (HOE) polygamy cult pointing up the number of spiritual wives who are on welfare to the tune of well over half a million dollars per year, the number of grants paid by the government to them, the number of thirteen-year-old pregnant girls, and the very lavish lifestyle afforded HOE’s Ermenegildo Zegna-wearing Prophet, Harold Evanrod, who drives a Bentley and their on-call doctor driving a Maybach worth over $400,000.

Avery Snowden is Charles’ main go-to guy who heads up the behind-the-scenes operations; he also clues the ladies in on what it takes to run such an operation.

The Cover

The cover is just gorgeous with it’s so very peaceful, moonlit lake edged in evergreens with that corner of a dock hosting an Adirondack chair. It has absolutely NO relation to the story so at least it’s consistent to the inanity.

As for the title, oh puh-lease, there is practically nothing Under the Radar when it comes to the Sisterhood. A better title would have been Chaos in the Ranks or Plans ‘R Not Us. Or maybe even Fashion Coordination 101, ’cause, y’know, it’s so important to be coordinated when one is about to invade a religious compound.

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