Featured Review: ‘Agent In Place’ by Mark Greaney

51dk1Uax4YL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Though Court ‘The Gray Man’ Gentry is back with the CIA in an official capacity, the highly-skilled assassin finds himself working for a group of Syrian expats in Mark Greaney’s (Gunmetal Gray, 2016) latest action-packed novel, Agent In Place.

The job is simple, or so he was told. 

Hired by a couple who represent a group of well-connected Syrians hellbent on toppling the regime of Ahmed al-Azzam, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Court Gentry is given the information of a private apartment in Paris where Bianca Medina, the president’s twenty-six-year-old secret mistress, is currently staying.

The plan is to have Court kidnap Bianca, a clear power-move by the Syrian expats (who call themselves the Free Syrian Army) designed to destabilize Ahmed al-Azzam’s government. After scouting his target, Court makes his move in the dark of the night, only to encounter a large number of ISIS militants who also converge on Bianca’s apartment, guns a-blazin’.

Narrowly escaping with the package in hand, Court delivers the mistress to Tarek and Rima Halaby. The couple, both of whom are doctors, are Gentry’s contacts for the job. Convinced they chose not to tell him about the potential threat of running into ISIS jihadists, Court instructs the Halabys to wire the rest of his fee within a day or suffer the deadly consequences. Then he disappears, again, back into the night.

Things take a complicated turn when Bianca refuses to help the Free Syrian Army, revealing that she recently gave birth to a son who, against her wishes, is still inside Syria — which has been reduced to a chaotic war zone. For the mistress to comply, she demands the Halabys find a way to have her son rescued and brought to her. It’s an impossible task, no doubt, and the Halabys know just the person for the job.

After convincing Court to work with them one last time, mostly to help Bianca because he sympathizes with her and the situation she’s in, Gentry heads to Syria for the most dangerous assignment in his storied career. 

Pretty much from the moment Court’s boots touch down in the region, nothing goes according to plan. Shady back dealings and questionable alliances are slowly brought to light, providing plenty of suspense as the story plays out. As new threats arise, Court’s mission parameters change. To finish the job and get back home alive, the Gray Man will need to find a way to be every bit of the legend he’s become over the course of six previous books, and then some. 

With so many of the genre’s other top characters already fifteen books or more into their respective runs, Court Gentry (along with Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan, Ben Coes’ Dewey Andreas, and Gregg Hurwitz’s Evan Smoak) represents the future of the thriller genre. Author Mark Greaney once again develops his character brilliantly as he continues to slowly break away from the pack as the apparent heir to the throne currently held by Brad Thor and Daniel Silva.

Mark Greaney continues his dominant run with Agent In Place, the best Gray Man thriller yet and one of the top must-read thrillers of 2018.

Book Details

Author: Mark Greaney
Series: Gray Man #7
Pages: 528 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0451488903
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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