Branded a terrorist for killing corrupt government officials responsible for the murder of his wife and daughter, most wanted ex–Navy SEAL James Reece comes out of hiding to go after an Islamic extremist following a massacre in London.
The U.S. officials were part of a conspiracy to conceal the lethal effects of an experimental new drug. In addition to killing Reece's family, they arranged for the troop he commanded in Afghanistan to be sent into a deadly ambush. Reece survived, but his days are numbered thanks to a brain tumor caused by the drug. Weary of living in hiding with so little time left, he agrees to a deal in which he will be pardoned for his crimes if he goes after the people responsible for the London tragedy. The action heats up as the scene shifts from Turkey to Ukraine to Iraq and Reece discovers the main culprit is an ambitious Russian oligarch with ties to organized crime. But the best part of the book is the setup, during which Reece, alone aboard a 48-foot yacht in the middle of the Atlantic, reflects on it all. For someone with violence in his DNA, he comes off a bit too agreeable. "Just because you broke a few laws doesn't mean you lost the high moral ground," a cohort says, referring to the "one man mission of retribution that left a swath of bodies from coast to coast." But Reece is interesting enough to narrow that credibility gap. And though former SEAL Carr's redaction of names and places in the narrative is a bit much, the novel packs a punch.
Carr's second effort is a well-crafted thriller with timely reflections on the increasingly complicated world of international terrorism.