Smart, slick, fast and furious. Easily the best thriller of the year. What an accomplishment. Not only does the author seem prescient in the story's premise in the wake of the raid to kill bin Laden but the book is a perfect balance of plot, pacing, structure and character development with a subject that is very much in the forefront of much of the worlds mind.
The plot, well read the blurb. But Derek is a more human character in this, the fourth installment, than super hero, showing traits of say the great hardboiled detectives. A loner, a tough guy who is also fallible. Think James Bond meets Phillip Marlowe. The Pace: Relentless. Mark Terry, with a master story tellers hand, drops details by the dozen, personal and real, but never to the point of bogging the story down. How he manages to get so much detail into the story without slowing the pace is amazing. Think of the details as the paint job on a race car, it just makes it easier to "feel" for the players and tell them apart but it doesn't slow them in the least. Structure: Perfect. Mark's research must have been exhaustive. His knowledge of everything from technology to strategy and tactics of that Shadow World of the American alphabet soup; CIA, NSA, ODNI, FBI down to the traditional dress of Muslims, the gray area of arms dealers, international banking, and even traffic at different times of day on L.A. city streets and freeways is amazing when you think about it. The story follows logically a race against time and tries to solve a mystery - why, where and who will be the target. This man is a master story teller, and a first rate craftsman at getting it down. I'm going to be talking about, and thinking about this book for a long time, so get used to it. Go buy it and I may leave you alone. Or talk your ear off as we discuss it, because it is that kind of book.