Featured Review ‘Burner’ by Mark Greaney


The Gray Man returns for more action in this electrifying new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Greaney.

Following the events of last year’s Sierra Six, Court Gentry, better known as the Gray Man, is off grid from the CIA, blowing up extravagant yachts when readers meet back up with him here. It’s not a bad gig, sinking the ships of rich Russians for a little side cash, especially with the Russian invasion of Ukraine playing out—but Gentry is used to a little more danger. So when another job pops up, one that his lethal set of skills is even better suited for, Gentry takes it. But doing so puts him on a collision course with even more Russians, powerful politicians, and another operative that Court has been desperate to find.

While Court is playing real-life battleship, over in Zurich, a man named Alex Velesky steals records from the Swiss Bank he works for and meets with Russian financial advisor Igor Krupkin. Hellbent on dealing a blow to Russia after losing his son in the war against Ukraine, Krupkin wants Velesky to deliver damaging info detailing major Russian conspiracies to two separate sources. The banker agrees, not knowing just how many people are desperate to get their hands on that info—or how far the Kremlin is willing to go to make sure that never happens.

Finally located by the CIA, Gentry is read in on what’s happening and is tasked with intercepting the information Velesky possesses. So too, though Court is unaware, is former SVR operative Zoya Zakharova, code-named “Anthem,” who until recently was part of Poisoned Apple, the CIA’s covert program that uses singleton assets (including Gentry) for their most sensitive operations. Court and Zoya had been lovers until she went to ground, and finding her has been his biggest priority. Their reunion, however, may not go quite the way Court envisioned. But if either of them is to survive, they’ll need to figure out how to kick any issues from being on opposite ends of the same mission down the road and do what they do best . . . take out a lot of bad guys.

It’s incredible when you look at the run of can’t-miss thrillers Mark Greaney has been on over the last six or seven years. Ever since Back Blast (2016), he’s been operating on another level, constantly elevating his series by mixing high-flying action with a smooth prose and smart, tight plots that usually have at least one twist that’ll catch even the most experienced readers off guard. But what really works, and what drives this series, is his main character. For all the household names in the genre today—guys like Rapp, Harvath, Reacher, and Ryan—there isn’t anyone quite like Court Gentry. Yeah, he’s a top-notch ass-kicker. That’s a given. But what really separates him from the pack is his wit, sarcasm, and the way in which Greaney is able to take readers inside Court’s head during the action, allowing his fans to understand the way the Gray Man sees the battlefield. Moreover, he’s able to do so without slowing the pacing or bogging down the narrative. And even though Greaney’s books have some serious heft to them, feeling thicker than most other mainstream thrillers, they read incredibly fast. This one especially.

Strap in and hang on tight . . . Mark Greaney delivers another heat-seeking thrill ride that’s not to be missed.

Book Details

Author: Mark Greaney
Series: Gray Man #12
Pages: 528 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0593548108
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 21, 2023
Real 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 is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.

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