cover image Exit Plan

Exit Plan

Larry Bond. Forge, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3146-5

Set in 2013, this ripped from the headlines tale of SEAL adventures and global politics from bestseller Bond (Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy) shows once again his absolute mastery of the military action novel. Because of hardships imposed by the world’s economic sanctions and sabotage, two high-level members of the Iranian military conclude that their nuclear engineers won’t be able to build an atomic weapon anytime soon. They come up with a desperate plan: pretend to be readying a nuclear test to trick the Israelis and Americans into implementing a first strike. This action will secure the backing of the rest of the Arab world in a regional war against Israel. Proof of this plan rests with two disaffected Iranians, Shirin Naseri, who works in a nuclear lab, and her husband, Yousef, an officer in the country’s air defenses. After the couple offer proof to the CIA, a SEAL team sets out to bring them out of Iran. As the mission goes seriously awry, the increasingly desperate rescue attempt forms the thrilling spine of this unstoppable page-turner. Bond’s refusal to demonize most of the Iranians gives the characters a solid, real-life feel that cranks up both the tension and believability. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media. (Apr.)