Contact Zero

David Wolstencroft, Author . Dutton $24.95 (388p) ISBN 978-0-525-94902-2

A fast-paced, wide-ranging opening sequence introduces the characters—and their immediate fates—in this derivative second thriller (after 2004's Good News, Bad News ) from the writer and creator of the excellent British television series MI-5 . Newly minted British spies, undercover on their first international assignments, are dying in what appears to be a series of random accidents and attacks. Lucy Matthews, Benjamin Sinclair and Nat Turner manage to survive and band together after it becomes clear their unnamed agency wants them dead. Their only option is something called Contact Zero: "The most secret secret society on the planet," a haven for spies on the run. It's a great (if familiar) premise, but too much of the wrong kind of backstory (young spies in training and in love) and not enough of the right kind (what's the agency up to?) slow the plot. Main character Ben is fairly well developed (he resents his place in the middle of the class structure), but most of the characters are cut from thin cloth. Still, the author provides some convincing glimpses into the world of contemporary spycraft. Agent, Jane Gelfman . (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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