Brian Freemantle comes out with an intricate novel concerning attacks on both the U.S. and Great Britain by Al Qaeda. An Iranian computer genius launches attack after attack on both countries via the Internet and social media.
Sally Hanning, a brilliant MI5 agent, is seconded to the CIA task force to help in finding and stopping the Iranian attacks. She meets with and works with the CIA’s master code cracker Jack Irvine in finding answers to the continued onslaughts. The pair find an unusual communality in that Jack’s father instigated an ambush in which Sally’s parents were killed. In spite of this past event while in the course of foiling attack after attack the two develop a sort of love affair, which while attractive to both, does not develop into something major.
Attack after attack by the Iranian terrorist and master computer expert is defeated until it appears that one final attempt looks like it is going around MI5 and the CIA’s best efforts and will be successful.
I found that Freemantle’s propensity to delve deeply, very deeply into the thought processes of the protagonists becomes a spoiler when one deviation after another is described ad infinitum losing me at times in the wordage. The action that should be constant and breathtaking is not present in a plot that calls for it.
A book that in the hands of an author with the talent of Brian Freemantle should be an exciting read, but is held down by the overabundance of description after description.
11/15 Paul Lane
THE CLOUD COLLECTOR by Brian Freemantle. Thomas Dunne Books (November 3, 2015). ISBN 978-1250066237. 352p.