As a member of the House of Lords and a former member of the House of Commons, Jeffrey Archer knows some of the most powerful people in the world. Indeed, the acknowledgements of this closely plotted thriller include current and former members of the American CIA, FBI, NSA, Secret Service, and a former U.S. attorney general. From this background, Archer weaves a tale that follows his hero, CIA assassin Connor Fitzgerald, while simultaneously shadowing his bosses in Washington.
The opening chapters feature unrelenting action as Connor tracks and kills a Colombian presidential candidate, and starts a chain of events that could lead to a new Cold War. But, despite his ruthless background, Connor is not a cold and hollow plot device. He's an American Medal of Honour winner who is committed to his country, but also to his spiritual home, Ireland. Archer even pauses briefly to flesh out Connor's family life and the tensions of living with secrets that his wife and beloved daughter suspect but will never know. This character work pays off as the reader follows Connor through several nations and nearly as many identities. Eventually, Connor is caught in Russia between two power brokers: CIA director Helen Dexter and President Tom Lawrence. Dexter needs her 28-year veteran agent dead or "disappeared" in a Russian prison. But President Lawrence also needs Connor so he can finally rid himself of Dexter's tacit control of U.S. foreign policy.
In the end, Connor must rely on old friends and native intelligence if he is to make it to his retirement alive. Fans of political intrigue, James Bond, and Tom Clancy will be drawn inexorably along for the ride. --Patrick O'Kelley [via]