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A CIA plot involving Afghan terrorists unsurprisingly blows up, requiring FBI solutions and assistance from an ethical and pleasant narco-trafficker.

Mills brings back chain-smoking, out-of-shape FBI agent and ace investigator Mark Beamon (Free Fall, 2000, etc.), now Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office where he’s floundering as an administrator, flubbing his evaluation, alienating his staff, mishandling his girlfriend, and in a funk. Unfortunately for the nation, but helpful for Beamon’s mental state, a gang of Afghans has slipped through the border with a rocket launcher, four rockets, and tons of heroin. The terrorists quickly give the US a case of market-tanking jitters with their threat to pop off the rockets. Laura Vilechi, Beamon’s colleague and best friend in the Bureau’s upper reaches, reaches out for Beamon’s help in finding that launcher and those Afghans, starting with a little pressure on the CIA, who, as is their custom, have been holding back helpful info about the world of evil. Beamon, who, despite his smoking and bad tailoring, is a Yalie, calls his chum, the president’s chief of staff, and sets up a an interagency powwow. Indeed, the perfidious rats at Langley have been holding out on the Bureau, and they’re not about to tell all now, certainly not about the intra-agency freelancing that brought about the latest round of terror. Beamon and Vilechi sort their way through the few available clues, getting shadowy assistance from Christian Volkov, an interglobal drug merchant first thought to be at the root of the troubles.The Volkov alliance will prove worrisome for Beamon, but the discomforts are smoothed by Volkov’s sensational house chef and the comforts of the trillionaire’s many homes on many continents. And Volkov’s a nice guy. Not like the terrorists of the Central Intelligence Agency. It will take many, many pages, several executions, countless cell-phone calls but no sex for Beamon to save the world.

A technothriller without the hardware.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-14934-1
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002


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