Double Down (Shadow of the Templar, #2) - M. Chandler I was pretty disappointed by the second novel. So much that I'm postponing reading further. As I mentioned in my frequent status updates, the story veered off from what I was expecting. I could barely give it a 2 star rating.

The story starts pretty well, from the pov of someone I initially thought was Jeremy. Once the gun appeared, I had to read the passage all over again. It made things interesting and I was looking forward to seeing how the team would handle this. Yeah, right! Ensues about a hundred pages (if not more) of chatter about nothing in particular (unless you were interested in federal agents playing office monkeys, getting excited about poker and drunk on too many beers and trying out the part of buffoons. Oh, and fawning over how incredible Jeremy is in everything he does). I would have appreciated that last bit more (since it was meant to enrich Archer's description) if it hadn't been so blatantly... lip service (for lack of a better word). I mean, if bad guys are that much better than federal agents, then us civilians don't stand a chance.

However, finally, the action picked up a bit and the team works (more or less) as a whole, planning to catch the thief. Plans go askew, giving Rich the opportunity to act like a pouty child and Simon week as a deer, irrevent of the fact that Simon outranked Rich. How cool is it to read about two federal agents yelling at each other and then rumbling to mutterings, while never actually coming to a conclusion? (insert sarcastic tone here!)

And then, to make matters even more interesting (not), Simon goes on a berserk fit because Jeremy dared accuse one of his team members of treason. Personal feelings between the two aside, Simon had every right to kick Jeremy out, especially since he was being hunted by the Russian mafia. Way to go FBI agent. Sure earned your bagde right there! (sarcastic again!)

Through all this debacle, Jeremy seemed the least pshychotic of them all and the only one likable. Despite his reversed morale, he appeared thoughtful, caring and a man of his word. (I do hope the author didn't tarnish everyone else just so Jeremy could outshine them). Altough a bit annoying at times, he was kind, smart and flexible enough to integrate in Templer's team and accomodate Simon's whims.

I guess I just couldn't really appreciate the humor in the story or the portrayal of the characters to really be lured by the story. I found myelf rolling my eyes a lot and sighing in defeat whenever I came upon a bad passage in the book (and there were plenty). I felt the plot had a lot of potential that was never really used and from my pov, the end result was just average.