Blowback

by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

Kirkus A rogue president schemes to start, and end, a cyberwar with China.It feels almost like business as usual to CIA field operative Benjamin Lucas when the defection of his Stanford schoolmate Chin Lin from the Chinese Ministry of State Security goes pear-shaped: Masked men storm the meeting in which Chin is handing over supersecret information, Chin gets shot, Ben gets abducted and imprisoned. But Chins imperious boss, Xi Dejiang, is the least of their problems, or their nations'. Shuttling back and forth to reveal a constantly widening panorama, Patterson and DuBois focus on deputy CIA director Hannah Abrams stalled nomination as director, inoffensive finance officer Donna Ottersons suicide when shes arrested for passing CIA secrets to the Chinese, and the mysterious poisoning thats sent Vice President Laura Hernandez into a coma. The spider at the center of all this skulduggery is President Keegan Barrett, whos ordered CIA operatives Liam Grey and Noa Himel to assemble secret teams to terminate with extreme prejudice any Chinese espionage operations they can find inside or outside the U.S. Convinced that hes been ordained to rend Chinas digital infrastructure from top to bottom, Barrett has insulated himself from second-guessing by surrounding himself with yes men and neutralizing any dissenting voices by canceling their communications capabilities or having them assassinated. Echoing Fletcher Knebel's Night of Camp David, which they acknowledge, and Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove, which they dont, the authors set their rousing tale of a few good citizens determined to wrestle the country back from a delusional paranoiac in a world thats at once absolutely menacing and deeply nostalgic.The perfect beach read for political junkies willing to change the frequency for a few hours. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus A rogue president schemes to start, and end, a cyberwar with China. It feels almost like business as usual to CIA field operative Benjamin Lucas when the defection of his Stanford schoolmate Chin Lin from the Chinese Ministry of State Security goes pear-shaped: Masked men storm the meeting in which Chin is handing over supersecret information, Chin gets shot, Ben gets abducted and imprisoned. But Chin’s imperious boss, Xi Dejiang, is the least of their problems, or their nations'. Shuttling back and forth to reveal a constantly widening panorama, Patterson and DuBois focus on deputy CIA director Hannah Abrams’ stalled nomination as director, inoffensive finance officer Donna Otterson’s suicide when she’s arrested for passing CIA secrets to the Chinese, and the mysterious poisoning that’s sent Vice President Laura Hernandez into a coma. The spider at the center of all this skulduggery is President Keegan Barrett, who’s ordered CIA operatives Liam Grey and Noa Himel to assemble secret teams to terminate with extreme prejudice any Chinese espionage operations they can find inside or outside the U.S. Convinced that he’s been ordained to rend China’s digital infrastructure from top to bottom, Barrett has insulated himself from second-guessing by surrounding himself with yes men and neutralizing any dissenting voices by canceling their communications capabilities or having them assassinated. Echoing Fletcher Knebel's Night of Camp David, which they acknowledge, and Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove, which they don’t, the authors set their rousing tale of a few good citizens determined to wrestle the country back from a delusional paranoiac in a world that’s at once absolutely menacing and deeply nostalgic. The perfect beach read for political junkies willing to change the frequency for a few hours. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Early in this fast-moving thriller from bestseller Patterson (the Alex Cross series) and DuBois (the Lewis Cole series), President Keegan Barrett, a former CIA director, tells CIA officers Liam Grey and Noa Himel that he’s tired of America being “the world’s punching bag.” He’s setting up two CIA teams, one domestic and one foreign, with authorization to “break things, kill bad guys, and bring back our enemies’ heads in a cooler.” Despite it being illegal for the CIA to operate on American soil, Liam and Noa carry out a series of successful missions on Keegan’s behalf. Eventually, the two begin to have doubts about what they’re doing, and it becomes clear that Keegan—who has expanded his personal kill list—is sounding more than a little delusional. The president is soon acting totally paranoid, good people start to die, and war with China looms. The authors offer nothing new, but they throw in some historical anecdotes of interest, deliver tense action scenes, and tie up all the loose ends. Those who haven’t already encountered the insane president plot will have fun. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Sept.)

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Library Journal In Voice of Fear, the latest in Graham's long-running paranormal romantic suspense series, FBI agent Jordan Wallace worries about new partner Patrick's special gift of getting into another's mind—can he read her thoughts?—but must learn to trust him as they hunt for a nasty killer (400,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). In Johansen's Captive, Eve Duncan's daughter, Jane, is happily married to Seth Caleb, but his troubled past means threats from a psychopath. Paradise police chief Jesse Stone returns in Mike Lupica's Untitled new Robert Parker thriller, though what happens next has yet to be revealed. In Maden's Clive Cussler's Hellburner, Juan Cabrillo and his Oregon crew face a particularly violent drug-smuggling criminal syndicate that has been passed down from father to son for generations. In Patterson and Dubois's Blowback, Liam Grey and Noa Himel are upended when President Keegan Barrett orders them to help execute his secret power grab; as CIA special agents, they must follow the president's directives but are sworn to uphold the Constitution. In Turow's Suspect, Clarice "Pinky" Granum—granddaughter of Turow stalwart Sandy Stern—is working second-tier cases as a private investigator and trying to recoup from the mistakes of a mislaid life when she's asked to help Highland Isle police chief Lucia Gomez, who has been accused of soliciting sex from three male police officers in exchange for promotions.

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