The grandiose greed of a Balkan warlord sets infernal machinery in motion from Venice to Singapore in a follow-up to The Echelon Vendetta (2007).
Micah Dalton, the CIA “cleaner” who had an extraordinarily complex mess to tidy up in his first adventure, is thrown back in the mix before fully recovering from the hallucinogens administered in the last adventure. He continues to see the ghost of old associate Porter Naumann, who warns him of dark days ahead, and the ghost does indeed seem to know whereof he speaks. Naumann even turns up at his own funeral in Cortona, Tuscany, an event Dalton attends with gorgeous girlfriend and scholar Cora Vasari. But the funeral itself is a hallucination. Dalton actually lies near death in a Venetian hospital after being stabbed with a shard of Murano glass, a shiv shoved by a svelte blonde runner in a Venice marathon. The murderess was employed by Branco Gospic, a Serbian crime boss who still seethes from the beating Dalton administered to two of his sadistic henchman in a previous adventure. Gospic is keen to see that neither Dalton nor any of his chums in any way endanger his current criminal enterprise. It’s a fiendish business scheme that has, so far, involved the bloody hijacking of a rusty tanker off Indonesia and the death of every mug and hooker in attendance at a pool party thrown by another Balkan thug. Still leaking blood from the belly, pausing only for a memorable night with Cora, Dalton climbs from his hospital bed and into harness with glamorous British agent Mandy Pownall. The two have been charged by their employers with the retrieval of rogue agent Ray Fyke, the only survivor from the crew of the hijacked tanker, a former associate of Dalton’s now in a Singapore prison, where he endures daily torture. As they work their way east, bullets, jets and helos fly, and that stolen ship heads for the West with a deadly cargo.
Hyperactive but entertaining thriller.