cover image One True Patriot

One True Patriot

Sean Parnell. Morrow, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-298657-3

Parnell’s chest-thumping third outing for special operative Eric Steele (after 2019’s All Out War) pits Steele against beautiful assassin Lila Kalidi, who has killed three members of the Program, the supersecret unit that Steele works for. Each time, in Paris, Trieste, and Nashville, Tenn., she has lured her victims into sexually compromising positions before killing them and cutting off their left ears as trophies. Kalidi’s ultimate target is Steele, against whom she has a grudge, since years earlier Steele’s father killed her father, a Syrian terrorist bomb-maker. Distinctive supporting characters include Meg Harden, Steele’s love interest and fellow operative, and Ralphy Persko, the Program’s nerdy tech specialist. In the climax, Steele and Kalidi square off in an exciting, bloody exchange around Washington’s National Cathedral. As usual, Parnell delivers loads of branded military hardware, testosterone-layered dialogue, and juggernaut plotting. The ending suggests big changes ahead for Steele and the Program. Military action fans will be well satisfied. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (Sept.)