In this thriller, an inadvertent car accident involving a former CIA agent and a top-secret black ops agent believed to be dead starts a firestorm that has the CIA and FBI frantically searching for answers.
Through the accident investigation it’s revealed that Harold Case, the ex-CIA agent who was working as a consultant for Sen. Howard Morris, was carrying top-secret documents that detailed his history in a highly trained black ops team called Operation Sleeping Dogs—a squad made up of men who were no longer supposed to be alive. The papers were mined from the dark recesses of the CIA for the sole purpose of giving the senator ammunition to further an effort aimed at undermining the U.S.’s economic and political standing as part of a campaign with the potential to cripple capitalism and create a socialist society. Now the lines of good and evil have been blurred and sides must be chosen. A chance event has awakened the Dogs, the deadly killers who will do everything in their power to protect freedom. Falbey offers a bold, gritty spy thriller, but he has a tendency to overwrite content and dialogue, in addition to relying on telling instead of showing. The result is a convoluted plot often bogged down by minutiae and the unnecessary distraction of phonetically written character accents. At times, Falbey’s penchant for over-description conjures memories of Lawrence Sanders and his hero Edward X. Delaney: “Whelan had finished a large turkey and swiss sandwich on multigrain bread that has been prepared and served by Rhee, who had since withdrawn from the room. Whelan was nursing the second Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.” Several scenes successfully play off the classic police-procedural tone and circumstance, as in the harried vibe during the desperate search for a lead, led by a token grizzled lawman who contemplates retirement as he takes another swig from his Mylanta.
Tighten up this thriller and you’ve got a contender.