A security expert agrees to protect a French intelligence agent in Somalia, but several dangerous details are withheld from him.
As the story opens, two-fisted Marc Portman, who describes himself as a “close protection specialist,” is stuck on the sixth floor of an abandoned office project in downtown Mogadishu with unidentified thugs heading his way. He discovers the body of André Masse, a French intelligence officer and the man he’s been recently hired to protect. His contact for the job is Victor Petrus, dashing officer of France’s Directorate-General for Internal Security. His mission apparently at an end, if not quite successful, Portman flies away on a helicopter, only to receive a midair call from Masse, the dead man. Meanwhile, the reader gets a step ahead of Portman as Petrus checks in with his anonymous superior, who thinks that Portman’s now in possession of the dangerous device they need. Said info is still in Mogadishu, according to Masse, when Portman meets up with him. Back and forth the narrative goes, from Masse and Portman and their dangerous pursuit to Petrus and company tracking them. Masse explains that he plans to hand over the device to Petrus as he’s promised, but he’s clearly conflicted because he wonders about the truth behind these tangled allegiances. His uncertainty turns out to be abundantly warranted as he tries to negotiate the complicated terrain of a war-torn nation.
The fourth thriller in Magson’s series (Hard Cover, 2016, etc.) has grit, pace, and consistent suspense in its depiction of chases, weaponry, and the details of espionage.