A debut thriller tells the story of a team of agents sent undercover into Iran to eliminate a major source of terrorist funding.
Retired CIA agent John Farragut has a brain tumor that will kill him in the next 18 months. But he still has enough spring in his step to capture a terrorist at LaGuardia Airport after the culprit manages to blow up half a plane—the half containing Farragut’s father. The suspect is taken into custody, where Treasury agent Mia Kelly discovers that the man was paid to commit the act using Supernotes. “The Supernote is the world’s finest counterfeit American currency,” Mia explains. “It’s printed on the same paper as real US legal tender. Same ink and same process on the same type of press. But instead of buying baseball, hot dogs, apple pies and Chevrolets, these dollars buy terrorism.” Finding the Supernotes printing facility is the holy grail for the Treasury, and Mia immediately begins putting together a team of unlikely (and sometimes unwilling) agents to sneak into Tehran and destroy it. She recruits an Iranian-American master counterfeiter, an American explosives expert serving a life sentence for murder, an Israeli spy who knows Tehran like the back of his hand, and Farragut, Mia’s longtime on-again, off-again lover. It will be an incredibly dangerous mission, but like the men she’s recruited, Mia—whose only child was killed by a drunk driver—feels she has nothing much to lose. Adam P. Gross and Seth K. Gross’ prose is vibrant and snappy, portraying a heightened reality that often feels more like an Ocean’s Eleven sequel than real life: “Alson had hired the arsonists the week before; they were former snitches who had performed similar tasks back when Alson was LAPD. The fire had to be set by pros.” Even so, the novel is an entertaining heist story wrapped in a war on terror package, taking its characters seriously even as it lets the plot pull them in pulpy directions. Without devolving into camp or melodrama, this satisfying adventure remains gripping right to the end.
A well-crafted, highly readable tale about a quest to destroy a counterfeit operation.