Sunday, June 22, 2014

Take a shot on this thriller

This thriller plays out as if it were a lengthy episode of NCIS.

An American Naval ship finds a body floating in a life raft. The man's body had been brutally beaten and showed burn marks consistent with radiation burning.

Based on an actual hijacking, Somali pirates hijacked the MV Markarid in the Gulf of Aden. The ship was retaken by members of the Iranian military then made its way to port in Caracas, Venezuela.

With the possibility of radiation poisoning, the CIA enters the picture and the assignment given to agent Jonathan Burke (think Jethro Gibbs). He is a senior analyst in charge of Red Cell, a think tank that thinks outside the box.

Burke and his protege Kyra Stryker (think Ellie Bishop) are ordered to Venezuela to locate a possible nuclear stockpile.

We learn that Iran and Venezuela have conspired to create a nuclear weapon. As the action unfolds, we wonder how the CIA representatives can locate where the nuclear materials are being hidden.

We also observe the arrogance of the president of Venezuela toward the United States and see he is joined in his lofty attitude by the man in charge of Iran's nuclear program.

The novel shows the scenario where Venezuela tries to become a nuclear power and then it might be able to force the United States cower to its will. There is all the stuff of a good spy novel with good action, good characters and a contemporary story.

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