The names and the locales have changed, but the intelligence game remains the same in Malphurs’ over-the-top techno-thriller.
The world is changing: U.S. intelligence services are no longer done in-house; they are contracted out. The result is that many active agents, such as protagonist David Pearl, are let go. Knowing nothing else, Pearl reinvents himself, becoming a government intelligence contractor. He starts his own company, which gathers intelligence and provides security consulting. Meanwhile, all sorts of criminal activity blossoms: Someone murders a high-ranking U.S. official while he’s at a gym, and a Greek diplomat breaks the unspoken rules of the Greek Mafia and must run for his life. David is hired to find the diplomat and escort him back. A gorgeous female Greek intelligence office—sent along to help find the missing diplomat—complicates his search. Pearl and the girl find the diplomat, who is so reluctant to return that he assumes Pearl’s identity and disappears again. At this point, the action really blasts off, becoming grittier than any Vince Flynn novel. Along the way, the author introduces myriad characters that appear to be nothing but window dressing. No one is who they claim, and nothing fits. Guesswork and hunches predominate, and opinions mutate into facts; facts are molded by the powers that be to conform to the latest set of policies and protocols. David Pearl and his band of eccentrics have to sift through the truth to find the underlying reality. But in the end, somehow, almost magically, the author brings all the loose ends together, which results in one heck of a slam-bang climax.
An intricate, action-filled, spy novel that moves at breakneck speed.