More spooky derring-do from CIA intelligence analyst Caroline Carmichael (The Cutout, 2004) as she tracks the baddest terrorist organization on earth.
It’s called 30 April, and it’s run by sociopaths who make garden-variety fanaticism seem beneficent. What can one say, for instance—wonders a hard-pressed good guy—about people who regard a young mother's agonizing death by poison as an occasion for high-fiving? And she was one of nearly a thousand similarly victimized that ghastly day. Disaffected, dangerously demented Daniel Becker, 30 April disciple, did yeoman work during the running of Washington’s Marine Corps Marathon. In disguise, pretending to man a water-relief station, he managed to dispense a cell-mangling bean-mash derivative called ricin in sufficient quantities to qualify as a world-class mass murderer. And the thing is Caroline and her colleagues had every reason to believe 30 April was history, wiped out during a gun fight to which Caroline had been central—an extinction vastly exaggerated, they now learn, applying only to the European version. 30 April, American style, was alive and vicious, vowing death to POTUS and others in high places, including Caroline herself—just retribution, an eye for an eye: “Remember Waco. Remember Ruby Ridge, and the murder of the patriot Tim McVeigh,” that’s the blood-curdling mantra contained in a fax to the Washington Post. In the meantime, Caroline has domestic problems of a different sort. FBI agent—and fellow 30 April task force member—Tom Shephard is hopelessly in love with her, an unwanted complication inasmuch as she’s deeply in love with her super-spy husband, currently out in the cold in Germany, cover blown sky-high—by his boss and hers.
Tightly plotted and, aside from occasional infelicities, decently written: “. . . all his rage and love in his face.” But what keeps the pages turning is the tough, tender, often out-gunned, always battling Caroline.