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by Paul Garrison

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-446-56450-2
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Paul Janson, ex–Consular Operations assassin, is offered $5 million to find a missing oil-company physician captured by pirates near the island nation of Isle de Foree off Africa’s west coast.

Janson, now operating CatsPaw Associates, a security business, agrees to the job out of loyalty. Doug Case, a former Cons Ops agent shot and paralyzed while protecting Janson, has asked Janson to take on this assignment. Janson also runs Phoenix Foundation, his mechanism of atonement for morally shaky missions in his past. Phoenix locates and rehabilitates undercover ops who were used and tossed aside by secret operations agencies. Case, now head of security for American Synergy Corporation, was a Phoenix project. Garrison (The Ripple Effect, 2004, etc.) drops more than one colorfully sketched archetype into the mix. There’s a bloodthirsty dictator, a tough but conscientious rebel leader struggling to control his revolution, a ruthless South African assassin on assignment from the nefarious Securité Referral, former Mossad operatives, a Nigerian princess and corporate manipulators eager to control a multibillion-dollar oil patch. Janson jets to the scene, accompanied by super-sniper Jessica Kincaid, his chief operative and sometime love interest. They infiltrate into the rebel camp where the doctor is held, but the rescue collapses into chaos as loyalist forces attack. Then Reaper drones shatter the dictator’s troops. Janson and Kincaid manage a temporary rescue of the doctor and the rebel chieftain, Ferdinand Poe, but Isle de Foree’s brutal President for Life Iboga escapes via Harrier jump-jet. The doctor also slips away. Kincaid gives chase while Janson attempts to learn who can field Reapers and Harriers. It could even be ASC, powerful in a world “where rogue corporations are more dangerous than rogue government agencies.” The action moves from Spain to Australia to Switzerland to Israel to Corsica and finally back to Isle de Foree. There’s sufficient knife work, sniper shots, RPGs, private jets, helicopters, betrayals and corporate machinations to satisfy every armchair covert agent.

Formulaic yet entertaining.