A State Department assassin escapes from a secret federal loony bin and finds that although nobody remembers or recognizes him, somebody wants him to start murdering again.
St. Martin’s ghostwriter keeps the Ludlum franchise viable with this tale of Hal Ambler, onetime employee of the State Department’s secret little office for the removal of annoying statesmen. With the help of increasingly attractive psychiatric nurse Laurel Holland, Hal has weaned himself off the mind-fogging drugs administered in a secret federal psychiatric hospital, reviving his preternatural ability to detect lies. Until now, Hal couldn’t even remember how he came to be locked up, but his newly cleared brain works like a Rolex, making it possible to outwit teams of government goons sent to recapture him. (Hal occasionally gives his location away when using a cell phone or computer to try to get information about his past.) While there is no trace of him in any of the data banks he hacks into, somebody knows who he is. A Ross Perot–type take-charge Texan believes that while Hal may not be the Hal Ambler he thought he was, he is almost certainly “Tarquin,” his State Department nom de guerre. And a famous nom it is. He’s the guy who used to make a specialty of knocking off Chinese heads of government. If only he could remember why he did that. And who it was that sent him on those jobs. Is he about to do in another Chinese official? And why is a CIA accountant being so helpful in sorting it all out?
Perfect substitute for the in-flight movie.