ASSASSIN’S STRIKE by Ward Larson

January 14, 2021

David Slaton, Book 6

From the publisher:

USA Today bestselling author Ward Larsen’s globe-trotting, hard-hitting assassin, David Slaton, returns for another breathless adventure in Assassin’s Strike!

In a Syrian palace, the presidents of Russia and Iran undertake a clandestine meeting. No staff or advisors are permitted in the room. No records are kept. By necessity, however, there are two witnesses: the interpreters. The Russian, Ludmilla Kravchuk, returns to her hotel room burdened by what she has heard. When her Iranian counterpart is murdered before her eyes, Kravchuk fears she is next and goes into hiding in Syria.

The CIA gets word of the defection. Desperate to uncover the purpose of the meeting, they task their newest off-the-books operator―legendary assassin David Slaton―to undertake a daring rescue. Deep inside Syria’s war-torn borders, what Slaton finds is a plot that will tear the Middle East apart. And one that only he can stop.


Ward Larson has created one of the more interesting protagonists in fiction in the person of David Slaton. Slaton is an assassin, a very proficient one doing the bidding of his employers who were at first the Mosad, Israeli secret service, and currently the CIA. He was granted political asylum in the U.S. with the help of one of the top managers of the Central Intelligence Agency who suggested when doing so that they might ask certain professional favors from Slaton which he would be free to either accept or reject.

During a secret meeting between the presidents of Russia and Iran held in Syria certain information is exchanged between these men which only they and the two translators working the meeting are aware of. Ludmilla Kravchuk, the translator for Russia witnesses her Iranian counterpart killed after the meeting between the two presidents finishes. She realizes that the two translators have heard an exchange that must remain secret and makes the obvious decision that she must flee and via local contacts she had when in Syria previously gets the United States interested in getting her into the U.S. and hearing her story. Slaton’s supervisor thinks of him as the ideal individual to send into Syria to bring Ludmilla out. No problem in his accepting the job as the action is what he craves and goes after.

The story of David Slaton’s work in trying to effect Ludmilla’s escape brings to bear Ward Larson’s talent in creating bated breath action and another book by him that keeps the reader glued to the pages. In addition to bringing Ludmilla out of Syria Slaton must become involved in the situation described in the talks between the two presidents and attempt to rectify the problem. Events in the book move rapidly between Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. We can certainly look forward to more action-packed novels featuring David Slaton and the probability of all night glued to the books when they are published.

1/14/2021 Paul Lane

ASSASSIN’S STRIKE by Ward Larson.  Forge Books (August 18, 2020). ISBN: 978-0765391568. 336 pages.

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THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain

January 5, 2021

From the publisher:

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, told through the eyes of a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, supportive mother she never had to her new baby Violet.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe doesn’t find the connection with her daughter she expected. She’s convinced that something is wrong with Violet–the little girl is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she is imagining things. Fox doesn’t see what Blythe sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being a mother. And the more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity…

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she’d always dreamed of. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth about herself, her past, and her daughter.

The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: a novel about the expectations of motherhood we’re taught not to challenge and what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. It’s impossible to put down and impossible to forget.


Three generations of women have difficulties with motherhood and their stories intertwine in this very dark debut novel.

Blythe’s mother, Cecelia, left when she was eleven years old, and Blythe assumes she probably shouldn’t have children as her mother was not a very good role model. But their toxic relationship pales in comparison with Cecelia’s relationship with her mother, Etta.

There is an air of foreboding as Blythe’s story continues when Fox, Blythe’s gentle husband of three years, convinces her that it is time to have a baby. Blythe sees other mothers with their babies and hopes that she, too, will be like them. But Blythe never feels any kind of connection to her baby daughter, Violet, although Fox is immediately enamored.

As Blythe sinks into depression, Fox is convinced that she just doesn’t love the baby enough. There are some behavioral issues that Blythe sees in Violet that increase as she starts school, but Fox always turns a blind eye. Then Blythe has a son, Sam, and her maternal feelings for him are real and deep. Things still aren’t good with Violet, though, or with the marriage, and everything spirals out of control when tragedy strikes the family.

The marriage implodes and Blythe is having serious difficulties. This is not your typical tale of motherhood by any means, and the superlative writing makes this a gripping, unforgettable story indeed.

Verdict: For readers who enjoyed the darkness of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, or Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates.

©Library Journal, 2021

1/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain. Viking (January 5, 2021). ISBN 978-0735239890. 320p.

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V2 by Robert Harris

December 14, 2020

From the publisher:

The first rocket will take five minutes to hit London.
You have six minutes to stop the second.

From the best-selling author of Fatherland and Munich comes a WWII thriller about a German rocket engineer, a former actress turned British spy, and the Nazi rocket program.

Rudi Graf is an engineer who always dreamed of sending rockets to the moon. But instead, he finds himself working alongside Wernher von Braun, launching V2 rockets at London for the Nazis from a bleak seaside town in occupied Holland. As the SS increases its scrutiny on the project, Graf, an engineer more than a sol – dier, has to muster all of his willpower to toe the party line. And when rumors of a defector circulate through the German ranks, Graf be – comes a prime suspect. 

Meanwhile, Kay Caton-Walsh, a young English intelligence officer, is living through the turmoil of war. After she and her lover, an RAF officer, are caught in a V2 attack, she volunteers to ship out for newly liberated Bel – gium. Armed with little more than a slide rule and a few equations, Kay and her colleagues hope to locate and destroy the launch sites. But at this stage in the war it’s hard to know who, if anyone, she can trust.

As the death toll soars, these twin stories play out against the background of the German missile campaign during the Second World War. And what the reader comes to understand is that Kay’s and Graf’s destinies are on a collision course


Robert Harris’ latest novel touches on a subject grounded in World War 2 that, while familiar to most people has not generally been touched upon.  This is the development of the V2 rocket by Germany which was utilized to bomb both London and Antwerp.  While regular bombing runs by planes killed many more people and did considerably more damage to cities it was the silent approach of the V2 and its sudden attack that probably was more frightening.       

Germany was losing the war and had lost a great deal of their airpower in combat when Hitler began looking for a weapon that would turn the tide in his favor.  The V2 seemed to offer a possible answer and investment in the process came from both the German nation as well as independently from the army. First attempts at using the V2 were from Peenemunde but then moved to a point closer to both Antwerp and London in occupied Holland.     

Harris utilizes two people; one German the other British to focus on telling the story.  Willi Graf, by education, is a rocket engineer and is stationed at the launch site for Germany.  He freely states that his interests do not really lie with the use of the V2 as a weapon but as a step in the direction of space travel.  He does do his job in helping the rocket achieve its place as a weapon of war.  Kay Connolly is British and although once an actress is now an intelligence officer.  She is recruited for a position with a group to be stationed in Belgium that will attempt to develop systems to destroy the V2launch system.      

The novel goes back and forth between the two individuals recreating the duel between those firing the V2 and those that are working to try and stop them.  Harris brings both protagonists to life for the reader.  We learn about their personal interests and of course, their interests in making the work they are involved in helpful in advancing the war effort. Werner von Braun a key individual in the American rocket program after the war has his place as the officer in charge and the guiding light for the German effort. Descriptions of the technical side of building a successful rocket are there and written in language that is understandable by the reader allowing him or her to more fully enjoy the novel. Certainly, a five-star book and one continuing Harris’ position as an author at the top of his game.

12/2020 Paul Lane

V2 by Robert Harris. Knopf (November 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-0525656715. 320 pages.

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MCGARVEY by David Hagberg

December 8, 2020

From the publisher:

A Kirk McGarvey Novel, Book 25

“The grand master of the contemporary thriller.” ―Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author

When Kirk McGarvey investigates the mysterious death of his parents so many years ago, he uncovers long-buried secrets that put him head to head and mano a mano with . . . Vladimir Putin.

After Mac calls Putin out, the Russian dictator decides he wants him dead. Battling Russian hit squads as well as enemies at home, McGarvey must fight like the devil to save himself, his friends, and the US of A in this engrossing international thriller from David Hagberg.


Kirk McGarvey is a long time employee of the CIA. He is depicted as having held several positions during his tenure including the head of the company. He has had an adventurous existence including divorce, the killing of his family, and his mother and father. He has found a new love with marriage to Pete, the woman. Pete happens to also be a member of the CIA and David Hagberg is able to include her along with Kirk in his work for the company.     

What has never been successfully answered is why his mother and father were killed. They both worked for the US government and were reputed to have built a defensive instrument that would have been able to negate missile attacks by Russia. The supposition at the time of their murders was that it was done by Russia to prevent the actual building of the instrument placing them at a disadvantage in the cold war with the U.S.     

Now years later it looks like Russia is attempting to assassinate McGarvey with the circumstances appearing to have a connection with the device his parents were working on. Moving into action, one of the first things Kirk does is actually place a call to Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator and declare war on him. Now this, of course, galvanizes Putin into ramping up the attack on McGarvey. The reactions of both Kirk and the Russians charged with killing him as well as his wife are described in a manner that ratchets up the action to a level that simply keeps the reader glued to the pages and awaiting the ending with proverbial bated breath.      

With Putin involved with attempting to assassinate Kirk, the action runs swiftly between points in the United States and then into Russia where Putin is encountered and the climax is neatly set up. Wanting more of this type of action it is sad to note that Hagberg passed away after a lifetime of writing spy and counterespionage novels under his own name as well as several others, including Sean Flannery. He will certainly be missed although there are a sufficient number of novels to keep a reader busy catching up on this very prolific author’s work.

12/2020 Paul Lane

MCGARVEY by David Hagberg. Forge Books (November 24, 2020). ISBN: 978-0765394200. 336 pages.

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DAYLIGHT by David Baldacci

December 4, 2020

From the publisher:

Atlee Pine Thrillers, Book 3

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.


In my long and pleasant experience reading novels written by David Baldacci, I have never come upon one that doesn’t capture the attention of the reader at the incept of the book. Nor one that disappoints with a badly conceived plot. “Daylight” continues this practice which makes the first recommendation I have is to get some coffee ready, get comfortable, and be prepared to read until finished.     

Two of the author’s main protagonists are combined in a conspiracy that reaches to the very pinnacle of the U.S. government, overseas, and throughout the 50 states. Atlee Pine is an FBI agent with years of experience and considered by her supervisors as a crack operator. She is assigned to an office in the interior section of the 48 contiguous states, but with permission, and to continue work on her cases has traveled far afield. As a 6-year-old she was subjected to the trauma of her parents being killed, and her twin sister Mercy being kidnapped. It has been 30 years since last seeing her sibling and at the opening of the novel, she requests a few days to investigate Mercy’s possible whereabouts and of course, if she is still alive.   

John Puller is a member of the U.S. Army and is an active military investigator. He has been working on an investigation of a case involving illegal practices at a large army base located in New Jersey. Not too strangely Atlee has come to New Jersey to pick up on the possible whereabouts of her missing sister and she and John Puller find that there are common factors in both of their investigations. They decide to pool their resources and in doing so come upon a conspiracy involving highly placed officials of the U.S. government, as well as many extremely wealthy and influential men and women. It is realized by both Puller and Pine that the arrangement if made public would shake the very foundations of the nation.  The first intimation is made when Puller calls upon a contact of his for help, a highly placed member of the military chiefs of staff, and finds that the man has been suddenly transferred out of his post at the Pentagon with only one day’s notice. This action signals that the conspiracy has reached a level that would be at the very apex of the U.S. government.     

The action is constant for both Atlee and Puller. They can be hurt and require recuperation time showing that they are human and not supermen. Baldacci easily pulls his readers into empathy for both. Pine is anguished into finding out if her missing sister is alive and where she is if so.  Puller causes a problem for his brother who was asked to help with some fact-finding. John is human in worrying about him when he loses contact and fears for his safety. An excellent and engrossing read and another milestone in the literary career of David Baldacci.

12/2020 Paul Lane

DAYLIGHT by David Baldacci. Grand Central Publishing (November 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1538761694. 416 pages.

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SNAKE ISLAND by Ben Hobson

October 31, 2020

From the publisher:

For fans of Cormac McCarthy, Phillip Meyer, Fargo, and Justified, a gritty rural noir thriller about family, drugs, and the legacy of violence.

In an isolated town on the coast of southern Australia, Vernon Moore and his wife, Penelope, live in retirement, haunted by an unspeakable act of violence that sent their son, Caleb, to serve time in prison and has driven the couple apart. Ashamed, they refuse to talk about him or visit, but when a close friend warns Vernon that Caleb has been savagely beaten, he has no choice but to act to protect their only child.

The perpetrator of the beating is a local thug from a crime family whose patriarch holds sway over the town, with the police in his pay. Everyone knows they trade in drugs. When Vernon maneuvers to negotiate a deal with the father, he makes a critical error. His mistake unleashes a cycle of violence that escalates to engulf the whole town, taking lives with it, revealing what has been hiding in plain sight in this picturesque rural community and threatening to overtake his son.

Told from shifting perspectives at a sprint, in language that sometimes approaches the simple profundity of parable, this gritty debut was hailed on its Australian publication as “a darkly illuminating thriller that soars across genre constraints . . . [and] engages with pressing contemporary issues while exploring timeless questions. Hobson writes as if his life depends on it” (The Australian).


This is the author’s second announced published book. It is an interesting concept coupled with some good writing. The story is set in Australia on the southwestern coast with the city of Melbourne fairly close to it. Vernon Moore and his wife Penelope are in retirement and living there. Their tranquility is interrupted when their son Caleb is arrested and imprisoned for beating up his wife. The couple have not visited him for two years and talk about how ashamed they are of his conduct.

The story begins when a close friend of Vernon advises him that Caleb has been beaten up by the son of a local crime family who apparently had looked to marry the girl who was beaten. The action against his son moves Vernon to do something about the situation with himself and his wife coming to the realization that the boy is their son and they can’t just desert him.

In a well-done narrative, Ben Hobson brings out the causes and effects that Vernon’s actions bring to his own family and to others in the area. In turn actions by the family of the man that beat up Caleb bring in two men from Melbourne who are suppliers of drugs to them. The act causes an auto crash that causes the drugs being brought in to disappear with the Melbourne gangsters doing what they deem necessary to recoup their goods.

The simple act of trying to help Caleb brings in the local police, with the fact that the Sargent in charge is a customer of the Melbourne group, a clergyman intent on bringing peace to everyone involved, and other members of the small community living there. Deaths occur due to the conflicting actions of those concerned and an interesting tale comes to its conclusion.

10/2020 Paul Lane

SNAKE ISLAND by Ben Hobson. Arcade Crimewise (October 20, 2020). ISBN: 978-1950691715. 304 pages.

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THE SENTINEL by Lee Child & Andrew Child

October 27, 2020

When it was announced that Lee Child would be retiring and turning over his Jack Reacher series to his brother, Andrew, I had mixed feelings. I’ve read a few of Andrew Grant’s books (the actual family name of the brothers) and he writes a good thriller. I was happy that Lee didn’t kill off Reacher (which he has threatened to do in past interviews!) and that the series would continue. But just because brothers both write thrillers, doesn’t mean they write the same way. Grant has never had the success of his uber-successful brother, but frankly not many writers do. So here we are. The first Andrew Child (nee Grant) book, written with Lee Child, in theory. I am happy to say the Jack Reacher appears to be in good hands.

That said, I didn’t love this book. It is probably all in my head but it felt like someone was trying to copy Child’s distinctive writing style but maybe overdid it? The short, choppy sentences. The brawls. The clock in Reacher’s head. The hitchhiking. All were there, yet it didn’t quite meld together for me. The story was interesting, although a piece of it felt like it was thrown in at the last minute because of the publication timeline and current events.

I read it, although it took me a few days because I kept putting it down, and I don’t recall ever doing that with a Jack Reacher book. But I definitely can see the potential, and I think the books will get better as the new Child finds his own Reacher voice, as it were. If you are a fan of the series, you won’t be disappointed. If you are new to the series, try a few of the older books first.

10/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE SENTINEL by Lee Child & Andrew Child. Delacorte Press (October 27, 2020). ISBN 978-1984818461. 368p.

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THE LAST SECRET OF THE ARK by James Becker

October 23, 2020

From the publisher:

The world’s most sacred and mysterious object and a race for survival… The brilliant new thriller from global bestseller James Becker
In Ethiopia, Charles Bronson and Angela Lewis are on the hunt for the Ark of the Covenant. But it looks like their luck is running out. Until, that is, a new avenue springs open in Southern France.

Meanwhile the Vatican is getting worried. Their best people are tracking the Ark, but so are a mysterious group operating from Jerusalem. Both are prepared to use deadly force.

As the net closes in around the most powerful artefact in history and the greatest mystery, it’s also tightening around Bronson and Lewis. They’ll need all their smarts to escape this time…

A deadly cat and mouse game through a world of history and myth, perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Chris Kuzneski and Scott Mariani.


Charles Bronson and his ex-wife Angela Lewis are traveling and working together on a quest sanctioned by Angela’s employer to find the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is thought to be the cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper and was then used to collect his blood after the crucifixion. The pair begin their search in Ethiopia but through clues and judicious thought travel through Europe and North America.

Also, after the Grail and consequently enemies of the pair, are a group from the Vatican and another from Jerusalem. Now why did all these people suddenly begin a search together that has a history grounded in centuries of investigation? This question is not addressed in this novel, hmmm.

A favorite topic of the author, the Knights Templars, a group dissolved by the Church hundreds of years ago also figures in this novel. The plot is one that would take its place with books such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. The reason that I believe it does not is the depiction of how the search evolves with the couple. When faced with the need for a continuance of the search by facing a dead-end, either Angela or Charles comes up with a Latin discussion of the original hiding of the Chalice.

After centuries have passed the couple somehow finds the correct meaning and continues forward to the next step. They are of course followed by both sets of bad guys and need to thwart their evil intents.

The novel is filled with incredible solutions one after the other. It is also replete with the attempts by the villains to allow Charles and Angela to find the grail for them and then kill the couple and run off with the treasure. A good plot is spoiled with an overabundance of conversations and miraculous analysis plus the rather silly actions of two sets of bad guys.

Becker has an afterward of the book in which he outlines the finding of pertinent facts by searches done in the past. This does make the novel somewhat of a history book. The use of countless “eureka” moments in the novel, however, does mitigate the validity of what is found, makes for a boring experience, and ending in no real interest in getting future books by the author.

10/2020 Paul Lane

THE LAST SECRET OF THE ARK by James Becker. Canelo Action (September 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1800320277. 306 pages.

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CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 by Lisa Unger

October 21, 2020

From the publisher:

From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies.

Selena Murphy is commuting home on the train when she strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat. The woman introduces herself as Martha and soon confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

Then the nanny disappears.

As Selena is pulled into the mystery of what happened, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, she begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover…


There is always a reward in picking up any book written by Lisa Unger. This continues in her latest book “Confessions on the 7:45.”

I started the read with some idea that it would be a take-off on Patricia Highsmith’s 1950 novel “Strangers on a Train” and the ensuing movie based upon the book. Unger does take as a point of departure two women meeting on a commuter train and talking but then goes way beyond that. Her novel touches on many separate points and keeps her readers simply glued to the pages providing an ending not readily foreseen but definitely logical.

Selena Murphy is commuting home by train from her job in the city and sits down next to a beautiful stranger. Somehow during the trip, the two women find a commonality. The other lady, Martha, confesses that she has been sleeping with her boss while Selena tells her she witnessed her husband having sex with the girl engaged as the couple’s nanny for their two children.

Neither of the two women has reached any conclusion about the next steps to take. When Selena gets home she regrets the confession made to Martha and determines that she will not see her again. Moreover, Martha was not given anything that could help her get into contact with Selena again.

A few days later Selena’s nanny disappears and can’t be found. The police are contacted and much to everyone’s dismay begins to treat the disappearance as a possible homicide. What, if anything, was done to the nanny and other related facts about the lives of the two women are brought to the surface during the remainder of the novel.

Stating anything further than that Unger’s book is beyond just an all-nighter might give away details that reading this very satisfying novel will bring out. My recommendation – read it, but have coffee standing by.

10/2020 Paul Lane

CONFESSIONS ONTHE 7:45 by Lisa Unger. Park Row; Original Edition (October 6, 2020). ISBN: 978-0778310150. 368 pages.

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ASSASSIN’S STRIKE by Ward Larson

August 25, 2020

CLICK TO PURCHASE

David Slaton Series, Book 6

From the publisher:

USA Today bestselling author Ward Larsen’s globe-trotting, hard-hitting assassin, David Slaton, returns for another breathless adventure in Assassin’s Strike!

In a Syrian palace, the presidents of Russia and Iran undertake a clandestine meeting. No staff or advisors are permitted in the room. No records are kept. By necessity, however, there are two witnesses: the interpreters. The Russian, Ludmilla Kravchuk, returns to her hotel room burdened by what she has heard. When her Iranian counterpart is murdered before her eyes, Kravchuk fears she is next and goes into hiding in Syria.

The CIA gets word of the defection. Desperate to uncover the purpose of the meeting, they task their newest off-the-books operator―legendary assassin David Slaton―to undertake a daring rescue. Deep inside Syria’s war-torn borders, what Slaton finds is a plot that will tear the Middle East apart. And one that only he can stop.


Ward Larson has created one of the more interesting protagonists in fiction in the person of David Slaton. Slaton is an assassin; a very proficient one doing the bidding of his employers who were at first the Mosad; Israeli secret service and currently the CIA, He was granted political asylum in the U.S. with the help of one of the top managers of the Central Intelligence Agency who suggested when doing so that they might ask certain professional favors from Slaton which he would be free to either accept or reject.

During a secret meeting between the presidents of Russia and Iran held in Syria certain information is exchanged between these men which only they and the two translators working the meeting are aware of. Ludmilla Kravchuk, the translator for Russia witnesses her Iranian counterpart killed after the meeting between the two presidents finishes. She realizes that the two translators have heard an exchange that must remain secret and makes the obvious decision that she must flee and via local contacts she had when in Syria previously gets the United States interested in getting her into the U.S. and hearing her story. Slaton’s supervisor thinks of him as the ideal individual to send into Syria to bring Ludmilla out. No problem in his accepting the job as the action is what he craves and goes after.

The story of David Slaton’s work in trying to effect Ludmilla’s escape brings to bear Ward Larson’s talent in creating bated breath action and another book by him that keeps the reader glued to the pages. In addition to bringing Ludmilla out of Syria Slaton must become involved in the situation described in the talks between the two presidents and attempt to rectify the problem. Events in the book move rapidly between Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. We can certainly look forward to more action-packed novels featuring David Slaton and the probability of all night glued to the books when they are published.

8/2020 Paul Lane

ASSASSIN’S STRIKE by Ward Larson. Forge Books (August 18, 2020). ISBN: 978-0765391568. 336 pages.

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