John Wells, who saved America’s bacon in Berenson’s The Faithful Spy (2006), returns, incompletely recovered from his Times Square showdown with Islamic terrorists.
Tortured by the violence of his years as a double agent, Wells still craves action and excitement: He routinely rises from the bed he shares with comely intelligence agent Jennifer Exley for high-speed midnight rides on his huge motorcycle. Not to worry because real action is on the way. There’s been a disaster off the coast of North Korea, where what was to have been the extraction of America’s best intelligence source has gone completely wrong. All hands were lost when a bug planted on the rescued scientist put the rescue team squarely in the sights of a Korean submarine. How the scientist came to be bugged and why he was betrayed has everything to do with why Wells is recalled to service along with his lady friend. It is becoming clear that great international mischief is afoot, and Wells has the right combination of fluent Arabic and nearly superhuman strength to begin unraveling the anti-American plot, requiring the agent to fly to Afghanistan and join in a small deadly strike on hidden Taliban fighters. Numerous bodies bite the dust before Wells snares the Taliban’s Russian consultants. Russians? Indeed. They are part of the machinery set in motion by General Li Ping, the only man at the top of the Chinese Communist party who is not on the take. Li’s plan to bring about fair distribution of the new national wealth involves not only those Russians, but a mole at the CIA whose treachery has blinded the agency at the worst possible time.
Terrific and relentless suspense and action in a reasonably credible plot.