The CIA and allies try to stop a formidable and malignant terrorist organization from instigating an international war in Patrick’s (Threatened Waters, 2014) thriller.
It’s been 18 months since terrorists nearly succeeded with a catastrophic nuclear attack on U.S. soil. A CIA task force now has assets, including returning characters Zach Greer and Elle Hardwick, following the money behind the strike—and the largely unknown group calling itself the Gulf Service. But covertly trailing a Middle Eastern oil magnate’s yacht in Italy isn’t easy for Zach and his team; men on the vessel spot the surveillance almost immediately. Zach suspects that a mole is feeding intelligence to the Gulf Service, which in turn is hunting CIA agents. It’s clear that the nefarious group is well connected—it’s a multinational organization that has been around for decades. Its latest fiendish plan starts with convincing America that Iran attacked the country and that the U.S. should respond accordingly. This novel, like Patrick’s last one, practically overflows with espionage and action sequences. The story’s barely begun when Zach’s rolling off his boat into the water to avoid a barrage of gunfire. Patrick doesn’t give readers much time to breathe; even ex-SEAL Ramsey Turner attaching tracking devices to the baddies’ yacht is relentlessly tense. There’s likewise an impressive amount of ultra-cool spy moments: Elle uses a lip brush with a hidden camera, and Zach interrogates (and threatens to kill) an abductee while simultaneously cooking pasta in another room. Patrick’s descriptions are so meticulously detailed that it seems as if he’s choreographing a precisely edited and invigorating action film. Elle bathing, in fact, is so specific—her “smooth and flawless” skin and the subtle flavors of the wine she’s sipping—that it’s the literary equivalent of a nude scene. It’s no surprise, then, that nuance among characters or relationships seems almost nonexistent. Zach’s wife, Sandy, for example, a significant player in the preceding novel, serves little purpose other than as a loved one the villains can target. Nevertheless, readers looking for nonstop action and thrills won’t mind and will be excited by the prospect of another sequel.
A spy novel that runs full tilt from beginning to end; action junkies will be more than satiated.