A Book Spy Review: The End Game by Raymond Khoury

Author Raymond Khoury (most famous for his bestselling debut novel The Last Templarhas brought his beloved protagonist, FBI Special Agent Sean Reilly, back for another pulse-pounding adventure in his latest book, The End Game.

The End Game is the fifth book to feature Sean Reilly, who previously appeared in The Last Templar, The Templar Salvation, The Devil’s Elixir and Rasputin’s Shadow. If you’re a newcomer to the series and wondering if you can jump in with this book or if you should go back to the beginning, the choice is all yours. You can start now without missing a beat, thanks to plenty of backstory included by Khoury in this novel, or grab a copy of The Last Templar and read them all in chronological order.

I adored Khoury’s debut novel, and have followed his career ever since. In all honesty though, I felt like his last two books  lost a little bit of the magic that made his earlier work so popular among fans and critics. Much to my delight, that magic is back in his latest novel, as The End Game is everything fans have come to love and expect from the author.

The End Game isn’t just Raymond Khoury’s best book in years, it’s one of the best books of 2016!

Raymond Khoury The End GameThe Story

The book opens with the interrogation of Kyle Rossetti, an award winning journalist who is being questioned about a recent phone conversation he had. The unidentified man who was asking the questions was all business. Rossetti had been put through the ringer while trying to protect his sources before, so that in itself wasn’t new for him. Heck, he even had a four month prison stay to his name over an incident where he refused to name a source, which ultimately left him accused of committing treason.  He was later released after an appeal.

No, being in hot water wasn’t anything new for Rossetti. What was new, however, was that the person interrogating him seemed to be playing by an entirely different set of rules than any other situation he’d previously found himself in. And by a ” different set of rules,” I mean that there were none. Nothing was off limits, which is why Rossetti currently had a very long needle stabbed into his spine.

Rossetti played tough at first, but ultimately realized his life might be at stake and quickly gave up the tough-guy facade. He was ready to squeal like a pig, talk faster than an auctioneer, and spill the beans quicker than… well, you get the picture! There was just one problem though– he didn’t know anything.

All he could admit to was the truth, which wasn’t much. He’d been contacted by someone using some sort of voice changing device, and given very limited instructions on how and where to meet for information that would lead to a big story. He followed the directions given, but the other person never showed up. After that, he was grabbed late at night outside his apartment in Harlem.

Rossetti, tragically, was mixed up in something far bigger than he could have ever imagined. His lack of information cost him his life, but his death was just the beginning…

Unbeknownst to Rossetti or anyone else, a man named Dr. Raph Padley was seeking redemption before his life came to an end. Padley was, as most people knew, a medical professor at Harvard. He made a name for himself in the medical world of cardiovascular pharmacology when he set his sights on developing a new drug that would effectively end the need for beta blockers and pace makers in people with heart conditions.

Instead, Padley inadvertently created the exact opposite of what he had intended. Rather than inventing a breakthrough new medicine that could prolong people’s lives, he had accidentally concocted a very lethal substance that worked quite well at ending a person’s time here on earth.

Padley kept his creation a secret at first, and even considered destroying all the evidence and simply forgetting everything, as if it never happened. That didn’t work though, so he went in a different direction.

The doctor’s deep level of patriotism led to him contacting the Central Intelligence Agency, where he offered to let them use his creation as a weapon against their enemies. This CIA, for their part, was all too excited about the prospects of Padley’s new drug.

Now, years later, the good doctor was in frail health. Pancreatic cancer had zapped whatever energy was left in his sixty-nine-year-old body, and he was beginning to fear that his hand in the death of many of his fellow human beings could have dire consequences in whatever awaited him in the afterlife. Yes, he’d saved many people as a doctor, but the dead haunted him as death knocked increasingly louder on his door.

It was Padley who had used the voice changing device, which he’d kept from his days working with the CIA, and contacted the reporter. He wanted the truth to come out, and he’d been very careful to cover his tracks and keep his identity hidden. He felt guilty that Rossetti had died, but wasn’t ready to relent in his quest to seek mental and spiritual peace through the act of coming clean. Problem was, he didn’t want to get killed – even though he was already dying – before he had a chance to get his message out.

What Padley needed was someone else, someone who knew how to follow instructions and who would know what to do with the information he longed to share. After a little searching the doctor keyed in on one man, believing that man was his final chance to tell the truth. So once again he picked up the voice changer, this time dialing the number for FBI Special Agent Sean Reilly.

Reilly took the call, but his head was elsewhere. He was still trying to adjust to life as a father, something that came as quite a surprise to him just one year ago. An ex-lover failed to tell him that she’d become pregnant, and by the time Sean found out that he had a son, the boy was already four years of age.

What’s worse is that his son, Alex, had been caught up in an extravagant operation to catch some drug dealers. A former operative with the CIA named Reed Corrigan had little Alex brainwashed, and Sean was still hauling his son to a shrink every week to help unscramble his brain.

What Sean wanted was revenge for his son–he wanted Corrigan. He’d been trying to track the man down with little success for months, when he finally caught a break. Now there was this anonymous caller with “information” for him, and suddenly his plate went from full to overflowing.

Sean Reilly soon discovers that the two pressing issues at hand are, shockingly, actually connected. More than that, they’re intertwined and related to an event that has haunted the FBI agent his entire life – the death of his father.

Why I loved it

Raymond Khoury is a master at weaving suspense, intrigue and action throughout a story–and he’s never done it better than in The End Game. The plot moves a breakneck speeds, keeping the reader engaged and on the edge of their seat from the very first page.

At one point in the story, Sean Reilly utters the line: “We’re never done with our past. Or rather, the past is never done with us.”

That phrase resonated with me because we’ve all been there. Something you’ve done or that has happened to you, which you want desperately to move on from, keeps creeping back up and interrupting your life. You can’t escape it, you can’t forget it, and eventually you realize that all you can do is confront it.

In many ways that’s what this book is all about, and it’s fantastic!

Why you should read it

Sean Reilly goes on to learn that his father’s death, which was ruled a suicide, may have in fact actually been a murder. Raymond Khoury then goes on to brilliantly connect that to Sean’s son, Alex, and Doctor Padley — all in a way that readers will never see coming.

Eventually, some very powerful people frame Sean for crimes he never committed in an effort to silence him. With his back against the wall and nowhere to go, Reilly fights back in a ballsy fashion and with little help. The End Game is Raymond Khoury at his very best, and a must-read for any fan of the thriller genre.

Book Details

Author: Raymond Khoury

Pages: 404 (eBook)

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Release Date: March 10, 2016 (Order The End Game today!)

 

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