The Judd Ryder Books
After a time away from writing for personal reasons Gayle Lynds returns with an intricate story about six assassins seeking a prize worth many millions of dollars. The six found a common ground when they did a job for Saddam Hussein and were not paid half of the agreed upon fee due to his death. They settled upon stealing an ancient tablet with cuneiform symbols upon it valued at millions of dollars that is being exhibited at a museum in Baghdad. The theft was successful but the tablet accidentally dropped and broken into pieces while the six flee the scene.
Years later when Judd Ryder, formerly a spy for the U.S. is walking home from work he spots a man that looks exactly like him coming from Judd’s house. As Ryder approaches him the man is killed by a hit and run accident.
Investigating the incident Judd learns that the key to his doubles killing and to the events surrounding the theft of the tablet from the Baghdad museum lies with an assassin active during the cold war known as the Carnivore. He was one of the six killers that stole the tablet, and the other five are seeking him in order to finally put the pieces together and possibly sell it for the money Saddam owed them. Judd and a CIA trainee, Eva Blake were known to have seen the Carnivore a short while ago and are sought in order to get the information needed to catch him.
The chase pitting the assassins against each other and seeking Judd and Eva is played out on an international stage going from Washington D.C., Marrakech and Baghdad and is explosive in the speed of the action. The many details are held together neatly by Gayle and make for a very welcome return to the literary world for her.
7/14 Paul Lane
THE ASSASSINS by Gayle Lynds. St. Martin’s Press (June 30, 2015). ISBN: 978-0312380908. 416p.