Saturday, November 13, 2010

On Target

Mark Greaney
A Jove Book
The Berkley Publishing Group
Penguin Group
October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-515-14845-9
534 pages
$ 9.99

What happens to former operatives of the C.I.A.? Their job skills don’t always match the needs of today’s job market for reemployment.

Court Gentry found out four years ago that the C.I.A. was not a loyal employer when a particular job was compromised and he ended up being a wanted man. Since then, he has chosen to lay low and to work as a mercenary soldier. He also needs to avoid his former comrades and only chooses those jobs where he feels a need to level the scales of justice.

The Russian mafia has assigned Court the job of assassinating the leader of Sudan. Though complicated, Court reluctantly agrees to this. However, the entire job is slightly altered by his former employer, the C.I.A., when they also contact Court with the challenge of kidnapping this same leader instead of killing him. The plan is for Court to act and to follow the Russian instructions and to alter the plan with the kidnapping at the last minute. In return, the C.I.A. will not attempt to eliminate him if he succeeds.

Interwoven through this is a woman who is also looking for justice throughout the world and naively joins and opposes Court as he flounders from one misstep to another.

ON TARGET is your typical action-adventure novel. There is the damsel-in-distress for the predictable romantic tendency. The underdog hero, Court, who possesses superior athletic skills, abilities, intelligence, and luck to those chasing him who greatly outnumber him and seem to have unlimited resources race through every page.

ON TARGET is fun to read. Yes, much of the story is predictable, but it is a well-organized story. Court lacks a bit realism. No matter who or what is the challenge, he always finagles his way around the problem. However, the flawed characters, especially when dealing with former friendships and loyalties demonstrate a side of these operatives that is distinctly human. It also makes the reader wonder about what really happens to former operatives? Are they all dysfunctional and can never assimilate back into normal society?

Mark Greaney currently resides in Tennessee. He has studied international relations, political science, and criminal intelligence. THE GRAY MAN was the first book in this series featuring Court Gentry.

I enjoyed ON TARGET. This fast-paced page turner is an exciting adventure into a lifestyle that none of us probably would want to live. Live dangerously and read ON TARGET.

Teri Davis November 13, 2010

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