cover image The Break Line

The Break Line

James Brabazon. Berkley, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-440-00147-8

British documentarian Brabazon (My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir) makes his fiction debut with an adrenaline-charged thriller. Soon after Max McLean, who has been an off-the-books assassin for the British government for more than two decades, decides not to kill his target in Caracas, Venezuela, he receives another assignment. He must travel to Karabunda, a jungle outpost in northern Sierra Leone, and kill the white leader of an insurgent force without backup or access to the usual intel. Max poses as a doctor to scout the remote area, only to discover that the military has closed off the entire region, claiming a cholera outbreak. He learns, though, that the dead have been savaged, some dismembered or eviscerated, with human bite marks left on the bodies. Later, in Freetown, he recovers a message left for him by a comrade-in-arms with a phrase in Irish that translates as “kill them all.” Brabazon’s inventive violence, mix of combat styles, and slowly revealed truths will keep readers on the edge of their seats. [em]Agent: Karolina Sutton, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Jan.) [/em]