cover image Ghost


James Swallow. Forge, $29.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-31877-0

Swallow’s high-octane third spy thriller featuring former MI6 agent Marc Dane (after Exile) opens in Malta, where Lex Wetherby, a hacker-for-hire, is shot dead while fleeing assassins. Marc’s employer, the Rubicon Group, which operates in part as “a private military, security and intelligence contractor,” dispatches him to Malta to investigate. Marc confirms Rubicon’s suspicion that Wetherby was targeted by the Combine, “a gathering of power brokers, industrialists and old money types who worked with the common interest of enriching themselves still further,” because he had information they wanted. Marc then travels to France, where he infiltrates the compound of media mogul Celeste Toussaint, a Combine leader. Marc and his partner, Kara Wei, end up following the trail of a possible traitor, who betrayed Marc and Rubicon, to South Korea. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the suspense rises as former Delta Force sniper Lucy Keyes aims to shut down a terrorist group run by the mysterious Madrigal before Madrigal can knock out San Francisco’s power grid. Swallow’s action scenes compel, but his detailed descriptions of technology sometimes slow the narrative. Tom Clancy fans will want to check this one out. (Nov.)