Crisis Four

Andy McNab, Author Ballantine Books $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-345-42807-3
A little knowledge is a dangerous thingDand a little knowledge is all freelance operative Nick Stone gets when he's ordered to track down a missing colleague in McNab's gripping follow-up to the British bestseller Remote Control. It's the spring of 1998, and Stone is on the trail of Sarah Greenwood, who's disappeared from her counter-terrorism stint in Washington just before Arafat and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet with President Clinton in the capital. It doesn't help that Stone's affair with Sarah (which was all business on Sarah's part) was responsible for the end of his marriage, or that Sarah herself is a real piece of work. When Stone finds Sarah, he discovers that his superiors not only want the trigger-happy operative dead, they want her to disappear without a trace. But Sarah claims she has information that could stop an Osama Bin Laden-sponsored terrorist strike on the White House that would kill the American, Palestinian and Israeli leaders. As a result, Stone must choose whether to obey orders or to believe his ex-lover. The plot is simple and direct, and McNab's talent for setting up a scene becomes evident when Stone tracks Sarah to North Carolina. His stakeout of her house would occupy a few pages if described by a less-skilled writer, but McNab goes deep into detail, transforming the set piece into virtual reality. McNab, a former Special Air Service member, delivers authenticity in spades; this thriller is full of the kind of grit that gets under the fingernails. His nonfiction bestseller, Bravo Two Zero, which tells the story of what happened to his SAS patrol when it was stranded behind Iraqi lines during the Gulf War, reads like a prologue to this novel, which boasts the operational details of a Rogue Warrior escapade without the overdose of testosterone. Major ad/promo. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
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