BACK BLAST by Mark Greaney


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Fifth in the Gray Man series, this high-energy thriller pits a highly trained killer against a powerful and unexpected foe.

Court Gentry is a wanted man with many names: Sierra Six, Six, Violator, The Gray Man. When Denny Carmichael, the CIA’s Director of National Clandestine Services, learns Gentry is back in the U.S., he decides it’s time to terminate him: “He’s my target,” Carmichael declares repeatedly. "I’ve been after this man for five years.” He must be extremely frustrated, because 400 pages in, he’s repeating the same refrain: “Court Gentry must die,” as if the reader still needs reminding what the book is about. But Gentry doesn’t know why and is tired of running, of being “off grid.” He’d been in the Autonomous Asset Program, and the CIA is erasing anyone who’d been part of it. Gentry happens to be “the last man standing,” so he’s declared “a rogue CIA man gone mad” and added to a “presidential kill list.” There is even a “Violator Working Group” dedicated to Gentry’s demise. He’s also said to have “fragged the wrong target” in the Back Blast op, though he insists otherwise. Multiple murders are wrongly blamed on him, but you needn’t worry that the Violator is an innocent pansy. He's one of the deadliest assassins on the planet and “the smartest prey Zack had ever tracked.” (That’s Zack Hightower, thought to be long dead and buried.) From time to time the tale feels rather bloated, but readers may not mind as they witness the hero’s unerring aim and semiplausible derring-do. Perhaps all they need to know is summed up in one sentence: “Court Gentry had just gotten so damn good at being so damn bad.”

The author also writes Tom Clancy novels with the imprimatur of the Clancy estate (Tom Clancy Commander in Chief, 2015, etc.), and this series is in the same style. Clancy fans will have a blast.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-425-28279-3
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015


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