cover image Soldier of God

Soldier of God

David Hagberg, . . Forge, $25.95 (412pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0622-7

After CIA director Kirk McGarvey and his wife, Katy, barely survive a spectacularly ruthless terrorist attack on an Alaskan cruise ship, McGarvey (last seen in last year's By Dawn's Early Light ) vows to track down and kill the terrorist leader known only as Khalil. This should be a simple CIA assassination (McGarvey's forte), but there's a catch: Khalil may be Prince Abdul Salman, a billionaire playboy member of the Saudi royal family, well connected to the White House and U.S. businesses. Given information pointing to a second 9/11-scale al-Qaeda attack, the U.S. president discounts Saudi complicity in terrorism, including Salman/Khalil; McGarvey resigns and goes after Khalil on his own. Revenge drives Khalil and McGarvey both, and McGarvey's wife also has a reason to want Khalil dead. Hagberg (who also writes as Sean Flannery) makes sure that nothing is as it seems, and McGarvey begins to doubt his own conclusions about Khalil's identity. With just days until the attack, the U.S. is under martial law, Katy is kidnapped and McGarvey faces tough decisions about home and country. As much about vendettas as politics by other means (but with a chilling, well-articulated politico-economic backstory), this is a thrilling page-turner, from its violent beginning to its violent end. (Nov.)