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In this techno-thriller, a mentally ill ex-soldier takes on a mysterious corporation planning massive destruction.

Kinkade “Kade” Sims had a promising career in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the National Counterterrorism Center. He now works at Home Depot. The reason is that he has a mental disorder—hypomania—which led to his being discharged from the service. And this is the reason the FBI has its eye on him. The bureau wants him to infiltrate a mysterious organization called AgriteX, which smuggles drugs but may be planning something much worse. Kade’s condition renders him immune to the high-tech lie detection technology AgriteX uses to vet employees. Once inside, he not only passes the tests, he assumes a high status and has a computer implanted in his brain. But what AgriteX’s CEO, Marshall Owens, is planning remains unclear. All Kade knows is that it involves hundreds of armed men and women. And Owens has a mysterious way of killing anyone who gets in his way. Debut author Klages is a former military intelligence officer and clearly knows his stuff. The characters are convincing, the dialogue realistic, the detail plentiful and the pace relentless. The action mostly takes place in an isolated and heavily secured mountain complex—very familiar thriller territory. But Klages has enough twists in the plot to keep the reader guessing, and the way he uses technology to spur the action is both innovative and believable. There is nuance too. His villains aren’t one-dimensional lunatics; we see snippets of their humanity even as they plot destruction. There could have been more background both on Owens and Kade, including the effects of Kade’s hypomania. The author also has a habit of stringing together a few too many adjectives when describing a character’s appearance. This is a minor quibble, however.

A riveting thriller. Move over Clancy and Child!

Pub Date: Dec. 29th, 2013
Page count: 334pp
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Program: Kirkus Indie
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