cover image The Judas Gate

The Judas Gate

Jack Higgins, Putnam, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-15684-7

The massacre of 12 U.S. Army Rangers and a British medical team in Afghanistan reveals that an Irishman, code-named Shamrock, is applying IRA tactics to the Taliban's struggle against the West in Higgins's less than satisfying 18th Sean Dillon thriller (after The Wolf at the Door). Fearful that British-born Muslims may be heeding the call to jihad, officials employ Daniel Holley, a former IRA terrorist turned arms dealer, whose rich network of contacts may allow him to track down the elusive Shamrock. Since the well-connected Shamrock's own sources have alerted him that Holley is on his tail, Holley and his allies soon find themselves targeted by the very people they were supposed to neutralize. Fortunately for Holley, Shamrock, whose skills should have made him a close match for Holley, proves an inept foe. Nearly every move against the invincible Holley is foredoomed, and only minor characters are ever in true peril, robbing the book of dramatic tension. (Jan.)