cover image Assumed Identity

Assumed Identity

David Morrell. Grand Central Publishing, $32 (469pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51669-3

The creator of Rambo and author of the bestselling The Fifth Profession has not lost his touch; this is a thrill-a-minute adventure novel. During his career as an undercover Army Special Operations agent, Brendan Buchanan has taken on more than 200 assumed identities. But when his cover is blown on a drug sting in Mexico, he is forced back on the identity he knows the least--his own. Buchanan receives a desperate SOS from Juana Mendez, the operative who posed years before as his wife. Determined to save her, Buchanan travels across the U.S. and ultimately back to Mexico accompanied by fearless, sexy Washington Post reporter Holly McCoy, who knows a lot about covert operations and is planning a feature on Buchanan. During their travels, they uncover a bizarre tale of a missing opera diva, her billionaire industrialist lover and his plot to destroy ancient Mayan ruins in order to exploit the world's greatest untapped oilfield. With all the action of a James Bond adventure and just a dash of the melancholy of John le Carre, this is a terrific suspense thriller, but it will probably be even more satisfying on the silver screen where the novel's lack of emotional or intellectual resonance will be subsumed in the highly kinetic adventure. Major ad/promo; movie rights to Universal; BOMC alternate. (Sept.)