From Publishers Weekly
New York Times bestseller Mills (Burn Factor) returns with his fifth novel, featuring brilliant FBI tough guy Mark Beamon, who is investigating a terrorist threat linked to a global conspiracy. Killing time on a dead-end assignment while the Bureau plans his downfall, Beamon is thrown together with his former colleague Laura Vilechi when a videotape is delivered to the American media, indicating that Al Qaeda has smuggled a rocket launcher into the U.S. Their threat to use it against civilian targets has thrown the country into a panic, with people afraid to leave their homes. Meanwhile, Chet Michaels, one of Beamon's former trainees, now deep undercover in pursuit of a psychotic Mafioso, is nervously watching drug deals being made with shadowy Afghans. Looming behind all of this is a CIA deal with the devil (in the form of Christian Volkov, an international criminal mastermind), in which the U.S. government attempts to use organized crime figures as a proxy underworld army in the so-called war on terror. This thriller features real people and groups drawn from daily news headlines, playing on the anxieties of the American public-from the heroin trade to terrorism (and the connections between the two). But Mills avoids cynical exploitation, offering up human characters and a story that, despite some implausible subplots and heavy-handed editorializing, remains engrossing and affecting.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* FBI agent Mark Beamon was once considered the best investigator in the bureau. He also set new standards for ignoring protocol and embarrassing his superiors. That's why his career is stalled in middle-management hell as the head of the Bureau's Phoenix office. Then he gets a call from his former lover, Laura Vilechi, who is the lead FBI investigator in a new al-Qaeda crisis. The terrorists have cobbled together a rocket launcher inside the U.S and also have four operational rockets. She needs Mark's investigative skills to find the launcher before hundreds, maybe thousands, of Americans are killed in a September 11 redux. The lead she has Mark follow trails back through a botched drug deal and eventually places him undercover in the Russian crime organization run by Christian Volkov. It's there he learns that the CIA, employing its standard tortured logic, laid the groundwork for the latest al-Qaeda plot by disrupting the world heroin market. Beamon and Volkov form an uneasy alliance in which he will help Beamon discover the launcher location if Beamon will help him retain control of the heroin market. This is a brilliant modern crime thriller with a byzantine--yet believable--plot, a plucky hero, and villains who manipulate world events from their lofty positions in government. Mills does the large-scale thriller better than anyone else working the genre today. As a matter of fact, he may do it better than anyone who's ever
sent a character out to save the world. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved