cover image The Spirit Team

The Spirit Team

Walter Wager / Author Forge $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85826-1

Hollywood loves Wager. Three of his thrillers have been made into successful films (Die Hard II; Telefon; Twilight's Last Gleaming), and for good reason. His novels are plot-driven story vehicles stripped of weighty character development or theme, maximized for narrative flow. His first novel since 58 Minutes (1988) is no exception. The story line spins around the existence of an especially dangerous biological weapon that kills by infecting its victims with a blue, fur-like fungus. The weapon is being readied for use by a generic North African dictator, part Saddam, part Khadafy. In response, the CIA activates a secret team of agents to destroy the fungus. The hook is that each of the members of the Spirit Team has been declared legally dead, so they can't be traced. They don't show much life on the page, either, but as one character says of them, ""They're the best. They can do anything!"" Including, probably, helping to turn this thin but lickety-split story into the movie or miniseries or TV series pilot it seems so desperately to want to be. (July)