Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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This worthy addition to the Ludlum enterprise, a series launch from Gervais (the Clayton White thrillers), centers on Blackbriar, a secret agency that’s been mothballed for years, but has been revived to complement the Treadstone agency. Treadstone uses assassination to support American interests, whereas Blackbriar focuses on disrupting foreign intelligence operations. Treadstone agent Oliver Manton is assigned to protect Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Edward Russell, who’s in Cairo on a diplomatic mission. Manton thwarts an attack on Russell, and one year later, Russell, now the Director of National Intelligence, offers him a job as director of Blackbriar, which Manton accepts. Blackbriar has two of its agents—former FBI agent Helen Jouvert and former CIA officer Donovan Wade—in Cairo tasked with neutralizing a leak in U.S. intelligence. Jouvert and Wade later head to Prague to investigate the killing of a Treadstone agent. There, they face five Mexican cartels and Russian intelligence operatives who have joined forces in a disinformation operation against the U.S. Gervais delivers the exciting action, colorful heroes and villains, and seamless plots that readers have come to expect from this dependable franchise. Ludlum would be proud. Agent: Eric Myers, Myers Literary Management. (Oct.)


Library Journal
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Two Blackbriar counterintelligence operatives investigate when an undercover agent for the CIA black-ops initiative Treadstone is assassinated in Prague, a place he wasn't supposed to be. From the best-selling Gervais (The Last Protector), a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, launching the publisher's third Ludlum series.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Gervais, a talented thriller writer, launches a new Ludlum series. In Cairo, a State Department official barely survives a violent attack, getting the story off to a rip-roaring start. Then in Prague, a car bomb obliterates an Operation Treadstone assassin (no, not Jason Bourne, of whom there is passing mention), and an organization called Blackbriar dispatches operatives Helen Jouvert and Donovan Wade to the Czech Republic to investigate. They are a smart, gutsy duo who are not romantically involved, but stay tuned for future episodes. Blackbriar is a hush-hush outfit contracted by the Department of National Intelligence that, unlike the FBI, doesn't have to worry about rules and stuff. It is a Black Ops counterintelligence program designed to neutralize hostile foreign intelligence operations “by any means necessary” and is so secret that "not even POTUS" knows about it. (Um, really? Is this what America is coming to?) Blackbriar differs from Treadstone in that it is “mostly defensive, going after whoever wants to steal our government’s secrets.” Anyway, Russians persuade four forever-fighting Mexican drug cartels to put aside their differences and join them in undermining the hated United States. In a joint operation called Proyecto Verdad, the Russkies will provide the technological know-how to launch a cyberattack against the United States, and the cartels will kick in a ton of cash. As readers will expect, bloodletting abounds. Donovan Wade puts it this way: “A round to the chest and an eight-inch cut deep into one's throat is a one-way ticket to the big guy.” In his lifetime, Robert Ludlum wrote 27 thrillers. Since Ludlum’s 2001 death, Eric Van Lustbader and others collectively have written about 30 more, all set in the dangerous world of assassins and international intrigue. This is the first contribution by Gervais, and his style fits right in. An action-packed thriller worthy of the Ludlum legacy. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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