cover image Agent in Place

Agent in Place

Mark Greaney. Berkley, $27 (512p) ISBN 978-0-451-48890-9

Erstwhile CIA operative Court Gentry, now a freelance mercenary, has a tall order in bestseller Greaney’s excellent seventh Gray Man novel (after 2017’s Gunmetal Gray): first he has to kidnap the mistress of Syria’s tyrannical president, Ahmed Al-Azzam, to enlist her aid in toppling his murderous regime, then rescue her infant son left behind in Damascus. As cover, Court joins a mercenary force supporting Al-Azzam. Greaney brilliantly contrasts Court’s pro bono humanitarian mission with the greedy mercenaries who fuel the Syrian civil war. Court, whose nom de guerre denotes a moral ambiguity, is not without avarice himself, but the mercs’ depravity and lack of esprit de corps disgust him. When related missions out of his control are compromised, Court undertakes the suicidal task of eliminating Al-Azzam. Greaney’s steady escalation of the risks that Court faces, and the exceedingly clever ways he tackles them, make this entry in the exemplary Gray Man series a can’t-miss. [em]Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Feb.) [/em]