When legendary CIA assassin Courtland Gentry sets his sights on taking down a human trafficking ring, his mission seems straightforward enough until he inadvertently discovers a potential terrorist attack against the United States in the process.
Had Gentry just killed Ratko Babic, his latest target handed down by the CIA, Greaney’s stellar ninth Gray Man book would have ended with a single dead bad guy. Instead, though, Court decides to get up close and personal with the Serbian war criminal, and in doing so, rips back the curtain on a global human trafficking ring known as “the Consortium,” setting the stage for a violent showdown.
Trafficking, which has become one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, poses a global threat. Here, the people behind the Consortium snatch women and sell them to the highest bidders through a black market pipeline around the world. The vile leaders behind such a practice are both ruthless and heartless, treating innocent women as merchandise instead of fellow human beings. Court, having seen the horrors first-hand, makes it his personal mission to burn the entire operation to the ground—but to do so, he’ll have the kill a lot of bad guys, not to mention take out the hired help brought in by the Consortium’s director to cut down Gentry before he can put them in his sights.
For Court, better known in spy circles as the Gray Man, killing is as easy as breathing, and while he’s taken on some explosive missions in the past, he’s never been quite this motivated. But seeing the job through gets a bit harder when the CIA, who locks onto he Consortium’s leader for other reasons, differs with Court on how to handle things. Especially when it’s revealed that an attack against the homeland may be in the works, and the director may be in possession of crucial intel.
Forced to go in alone once again and operate without any help from the agency, Gentry sidesteps his bosses at CIA and teams with Talyssa Corbu, a young Europol analyst determined to find and save her sister, who was recently abducted and sold into the trafficking trade.
With the board set, the Gray Man gets to work, which means bad guys stop breathing in big numbers—but as the body count soars, Gentry realizes not everything is quite as straightforward as he thought, and saving the countless victims may not be as easy as just wiping out the Consortium . . .
Greaney, who has proven to be one of the top five action thriller writers on the scene today, mixes things up this time around by writing in the first-person narrative, taking readers right inside the Gray Man’s head for what’s easily his darkest, most compelling novel to date. While lots of other top authors have pulled off writing first-person POV thrillers (Brad Taylor, Lee Child, Joseph Finder, etc.), Greaney’s style is unique, and allowing Gentry to speak directly to readers creates a powerful dynamic as fans will love hearing from the super-assassin and seeing the plot through his eyes. It all works incredibly well and is paired perfectly with the dark subject matter at hand. Trafficking is a horrendous reality, and Greaney paints it as such, making some scenes difficult to read, even though the author tries to steer clear of going too far with the imagery.
Still, difficult as the topic may be, it helps to know that Gentry is out to kill everyone involved, and as he opens up an old-fashioned can of wild-West-whoop-ass, it’s impossible not to cheer him on as he stacks bodies and runs through the Consortium like only he can do.
Mark Greaney dials up another can’t-miss, action-packed thriller with One Minute Out, his grittiest novel to date and a must-read for fans of Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva.
Author: Mark Greaney
Series: The Gray Man #9
Pages: 512 (Hardcover)
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.