Targets of Opportunity
Jeffrey S. Stephens
Simon and Schuster/Gallery, Aug 30 2011, $24.00
CIA Agent John Sandor is rushed from New York to Virginia to interrogate Ahmad Jaber, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldier demanding protection from his comrades in exchange for information on a pending terrorist attack. Jaber insists the axis of evil has formed a united triangle of Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. The Iranian offers no details as to the plan as he insists he was not privy to such information, but that the target is America’s heartland.
The terrorists blow up a passenger jet in the French West Indies and destroy a French classified communications outpost. While the Intel groups (domestic and foreign) react to the Caribbean assault, Sandor believes these are not the main show but simply diversity assaults. He follows a different path including leading a secret mission into North Korea where he loses one of his team but capture a key government official. Using his interrogation techniques that even Cheney might consider over the line lead him away from Baytown, Texas where the rest of the Intelligence community expect the major attack to be Baton Rouge, but with a Category 3 hurricane arriving, he may be too late; then again it could be Texas.
The stupendous second Sandor thriller (see Porfino Deception) is a great action tale as the renegade CIA agent causes his superiors to name their respective hemorrhoids after him. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the protagonist interviews Jaber and never slows down as the hero tries to prevent a catastrophe with too many Targets of Opportunity for one if not more axis of evil partners. Readers will relish this taut suspense thriller as time is running out on the Americans.