James Grady / Author Forge $24.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1649-
Grady's first thriller in a decade finds the author of Six Days of the Condor taking an altogether different look at the spook trade-the lives of CIA operatives who had to be institutionalized because they went crazy on the job. Five spies, all being held at an asylum in Maine, find themselves the likely victims of a frame-up when their psychiatrist is murdered in their therapy room. With remarkable ease, they escape their confines and embark on a week-long run for freedom and revenge that takes the so-called Mad Dogs-all off their meds-to the nation's capital to find out who killed their shrink and why. The adventure is narrated by Victor, the most intellectual of the bunch, who cracked up after a particularly harrowing experience on the job in Malaysia. Grady (White Flame) punctuates whipsaw bouts of action with dark humor and poignant glimpses into his characters' broken lives. Unfortunately, the Mad Dogs' search for the killer is interrupted all too often by zany, psycho-fueled episodes that sidetrack their mission and the reader's interest.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2006