Dominic Martell, Author . Carroll & Graf/ Penzler $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1123-9

Retired counterterrorist Pascual March (known to readers of Martell's first thriller, Lying Crying Dying, as Pascual Rose) is hiding in Barcelona, somewhat the worse for wear, when he is reluctantly coaxed back into action by a French intelligence agency that makes him an offer he can't refuse. They will deposit a big check in a bank account for him—and generously allow him to live. In turn, he needs to help them capture international terrorist Daoud Najjar. March is the only person capable of even recognizing Najjar, since others in the intelligence community who knew the criminal mastermind are dead of mostly unnatural causes. Najjar is one of an ethnically mixed Russian-based group called Mirakl, which has bought control of a Parisian bank and is using it for money laundering, drug and weapons dealing, and prostitution. The group is scheduled to meet soon at the bank's headquarters. Together with Djemila Yacine, an Algerian newswoman in pursuit of a nefarious Algerian general who's part of Mirakl, Pascual hatches a scheme to plant a transmitter on Najjar. The scheme backfires, and Najjar recognizes Pascual and Djemila, putting their lives in immediate danger. The action flies from one European transportation hub to another as bodies pile up. No one is trustworthy except the author, who skillfully whips up a satisfying thriller in spite of a few predictable turns. Pascual's quiet dignity and savoir faire continue to charm. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 01/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
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