Kublicki holds down the throttle in this drag race of an international espionage thriller.
Out of the gate, Kublicki (The Diamond Conspiracy, 2011, etc.) dives into a noirish escape plot, complete with high profile targets and a mysterious secret. Patrick Carlton, a DOJ prosecutor, picks up that trail years later, discovering a handbill from the premiere of Montgomery Grant’s final film before his tragic death. But his investigation into the strange address scrawled on the paper draws attention from a slew of government agencies and foreign intelligence services. Carlton’s refusal to abandon his search embroils him in a DARPA project working to solve the world’s energy crisis—unless a Saudi terrorist faction destabilizes the global economy first. Readers won’t have to wait for Kublicki to deliver the action; a game-changing event occurs in every chapter, and the secrets seep out slowly, just enough to lead readers deeper into this labyrinth of interlocking plots. Yet Kublicki’s forte is white-knuckle action, and the plot structure feeds that talent. At times, though, because Kublicki writes as if impending global crisis is at the fore, readers will need to stretch their suspension of disbelief. Global plotlines will appeal to international-politics buffs, although sometimes the forces at play seem implausible. Too many events happen at once across the globe, and everything hinges on Carlton; he even briefly plays military commander at the DARPA base, drawing from his background in the Navy Reserve. But the complexity makes for solid entertainment because Kublicki ties up hanging threads—not that there’s much time for them to dangle. The intensity is relentless, even when Kublicki seems ready for a pause. His short paragraphs, concise sentences and carefully paced chapters create a race for the finish line.
Intricate plots at breakneck speed, with a dash of science and international politics for good measure.