cover image Middle Man: A Lieutenant Rollie Waters Novel

Middle Man: A Lieutenant Rollie Waters Novel

David Rich. Dutton, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-95323-4

An elite covert group known as SHADE (Shared Defense Executive), which was set up by the U.S. military, recruits Marine Lt. Rollie Waters in Rich’s disjointed sequel to 2012’s Caravan of Thieves. As part of a mission to determine which graves of American soldiers contain cash taken from Saddam Hussein’s cache during the second Iraq War and who’s behind the scheme, Rollie assumes the identity of a wealthy investment banker, Robert Hewitt. The assignment takes Rollie from Houston to Erbil, Iraq, and tangles him in a net of betrayal, including a kidnapping plot involving the daughter of the self-proclaimed king of Kurdistan. Rollie’s frequent flashbacks to his childhood and his time fighting in Afghanistan drag down the plot, as do his imagined conversations with his dead father, Dan Waters—a con man killed because he was suspected of trying to steal the same cache of millions that Rollie seeks. Not even a surprise action-packed ending elevates this muddled adventure. Agent: Kimberly Witherspoon, Inkwell management. (Aug.)