cover image The Chaos Agent

The Chaos Agent

Mark Greaney. Berkley, $30 (560p) ISBN 978-0-593-54814-1

Greaney’s formulaic 13th outing for former CIA agent Courtland “Gray Man” Gentry (after Burner) finds the ex-spy lying low in Guatemala when he learns a ruthless contract killer is on his trail. As Greaney soon discovers, the assassin has been hired by criminal mastermind Cyrus to eliminate key military figures conducting research on weaponized AI so he can harness the software for his own nefarious ends. The chilling central question of who will win the race to integrate AI and weapons of mass destruction is the best feature of a novel that otherwise reads like subpar Tom Clancy or the hasty novelization of a CGI-heavy streaming series. While Greaney’s fans will get what they came for—nonstop action and long, fetishistic descriptions of weapons including rifle-mounted robot dogs—the plot feels slapdash and contrived. This military thriller is mediocre at best. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)