Thursday, June 18, 2015

Meet the new enemy…same as the old enemy

Those who think that the Cold War is an artifact of history are in for a rude awakening with three new books, from master craftsmen of the thriller form. The war on terror is alive and well; and our old nemesis, Russia is borrowing a page or two from the terrorist playbook in these new outings.

Independence Day – Ben Coes (St. Martin’s Press)

A highly skilled, rogue Russian hacker is out to right what he believes to be wrongs from the past and settle a score with the United States. While they say that revenge is a dish best served cold this hacker, dubbed Cloud, has decided to go hot and deliver a nuclear warhead targeting America’s East coast. He enlists willing jihadists to deliver the blow and in the long haul take the blame.

Seemingly the only thing standing in his way is former special forces operator Dewey Andreas in the highest of stakes game. With Independence Day, Ben Coes continues to solidify his position as one of the top tier players in the thriller game with the fifth entry in the Andreas series.

In a game of beat the clock, Andreas must bounce back from the brutal murder of his fiancée and prove that he hasn’t lost his edge and is up to the challenge he is faced with. Coes knows how to pace the action, develop red-blooded characters and deliver just the right twists at just the right time. Andreas has quickly become a character that fans of Scot Harvath (Brad Thor) and Mitch Rapp (Vince Flynn) will gravitate towards and cheer on.

Radiant Angel - Nelson DeMille (Grand Central Publishing)

Veteran thriller master Nelson DeMille has squared former NYPD detective and current government alphabet soup contractor John Corey off against all form of terrorist, Middle Eastern and home grown domestic in prior outings. So it only seems natural that the wise-cracking Corey would one day face off with Russian thugs hell bent on doing damage to the homeland. 

In Radiant Angel, Corey has moved on from his contracting role with the Anti-Terrorist Task Force to a new assignment with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Tasked with openly following Russian diplomats, who in reality are spies, Corey grabs a tiger by the tail in the form of Vasily Petrov, a Colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Petrov is playing diplomat, but in reality he is an assassin who has been tasked with striking a blow for Mother Russia.

Corey track Petrov to the Hamptons estate of a Russian oligarch and ends following his well-tuned gut right into the middle of what is shaping up to be an international incident. Petrov disappears from the estate and the hunt is on for antique Russian nuke which could take out the Big Apple and more. DeMille delivers all we have come to expect from John Corey, a wise-cracking, everyman hero, hot on the trail of saving the day.

Palace of Treason – Jason Matthews (Scribner)

Author Jason Matthews spent 33 years in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency’s, National Clandestine Service, working as an operations manager, specializing in counterintelligence and counterterrorism, among other areas. It is that been there, done that level of realism that he uses to populate pages of his thrillers.

Out with Palace of Treason, the follow up to his debut novel Red Sparrow, Matthews is once again ready to heat up the Cold War and make the case that espionage efforts between the two heavyweight superpowers is alive and well. Matthews injects a real world scenario with the Russians looking to curry favor with Iran.

Once again Matthews centers the story on CIA operative/handler Nate Nash and Russian SVR agent/CIA penetration operative Dominika Egorova. To borrow a line made famous by Liam Neeson; Dominka has a very special set of skills that she brings to the party. Palace of Treason crackles with an insider’s energy and pacing.


No comments: