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RAIN ON THE DEAD by Jack Higgins


by Jack Higgins

Pub Date: Dec. 30th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-17194-9
Publisher: Putnam

An elite British paramilitary unit squares off with a mysterious new al-Qaida master.

Best-seller Higgins (Death Trade, 2013, etc.) returns with another round of gratuitous shoot-ups, back-room cloak-and-dagger dealings, and hardened men willing to exchange death for money. With an eclectic cast of characters pushing their own agendas weaving in and out of the story, former IRA assassin Sean Dillon and decorated Afghan War hero Sara Gideon are the central protagonists once again. The novel begins with Gideon and Dillon as house guests at former U.S. President Jake Cazalet’s Nantucket home, and the action immediately takes off when the duo saves Cazalet from an assassination attempt at the hands of Chechen gunmen. While the Chechens don’t live long enough to do much talking, Dillon uncovers some of his old IRA cohorts providing assistance in the botched operation. With this lead, Dillon's and Gideon’s colleague, the wheelchair-bound Maj. Giles Roper, is able to connect the assassination job with the enigmatic new al-Qaida master, who may be operating inside the U.K. This shadowy figure is committed to killing the former president, and he even adds Gideon and Dillon to the list of intended targets. To carry out this operation, the al-Qaida master begins to contact experienced killers from dissident Irish groups and even a former member of the British army. As attacks and gunfights unfold from one incident to another, the underlying plans of this new version of al-Qaida remain unclear. Although there's plenty of violence, we're left with a rather flimsy storyline.

A good read for those who want bullets without the complexity or distraction of a tight narrative.