Saturday, July 16, 2011

Running Homeless-Al Lamanda

Running Homeless
Al Lamanda
Five Star, Aug 10 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 978-1432825386

He is in New Mexico where he executes six drug lords. The extraction team of four goes to get him as a tech support unit watches and videos his activities. The techies are stunned when the agent executes the extraction team. In seconds ten are dead. To the further shock of the observers he vanishes in a blink. Techie Johnson calls Handler Ben Freeman who orders him to follow the GPS signal in John Tibbets’ watch but he must keep a distance if he chooses to live. Agent Monroe explains to Freeman and their superior Farris that the watch has an alarm that wipes out Tibbets’ memory, which makes him more dangerous as a beast protecting himself.

Freeman joins FBI agent Richard Cone in a hunt for Tibbets. Cone is stunned from seeing the video, but is appalled to learn Tibbets and Freeman belong to a top secret government agency whose mission is assassination. Tibbets has ben subject to mind control techniques enhanced by drugs. On his own, he begins to recall bits of his life while leaving corpses on his way to New York City where he vaguely remembers saving a cop’s life (see Walking Homeless).

This is one of the year’s best thrillers as the American Manchurian Candidate is on the lam from his handlers while the body count rises exponentially wherever he goes. The story line is action-packed from the opening killing of ten men in seconds (in less than a page) until the final twisted confrontation. Yet what brings heart and soul to Al Lamanda’s excellent tale is the antihero killing machine is a victim but who the villains are will stun the audience.

Harriet Klausner

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