Viking, Mar 5 2009, $25.95
In 1998 in a Swiss hospital, assassin Samuel Carver slowly recuperates from a horrific torture that has left him with amnesia. He does not know his name or his occupation. Former Russian spy, Alix Petrova is taking care of her severely injured boyfriend.
While Carver lies in the hospital, dying oilman Waylon McCabe believes he will go to heaven as part of the Rapture. To insure he does before the cancer kills him, he arranges for nuclear Armageddon. At the same a frustrated Lieutenant General Kurt Vermulen warns the Pentagon and other agencies that a Middle East terrorist group no one recognizes called al Qaeda poses a viable direct threat to America. Only McCabe believes Vermulen even as he tries to buy a Russian suitcase containing nuclear weapons from the international black market where allegedly 100 such containers are up for sale even as the Feds deny it. Alix has been sent to seduce information from the General while a still healing Carver who at least knows his name, his profession, and most significant his girlfriend follows.
The sequel to the exhilarating THE ACCIDENT MAN is a fast-paced cautionary thriller that will fully engross readers with the hindsight of 9/11. Sam is at his best not because he is physically or mentally ready to return to field operations as he is not, but because he must return to the field. Using public information, Tom Cain provides a powerful condemnation of the Feds who ignore lessons learned as damage control of their image is everything whether it is the Marine base in Lebanon (Reagan), the USS Cole and the embassies in Africa (under Clinton) or 9/11 (under Bush).