cover image The Russian

The Russian

Ben Coes. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-14079-1

This nifty thriller from bestseller Coes (Bloody Sunday) introduces private operative Rod Tacoma, a former Navy SEAL and friend of the author’s series hero, Dewey Andreas, who makes a cameo appearance. A faction of the Russian mob carries out two high-level assassinations—of a Republican senator and a Democratic governor, both leaders in the fight against the Russian mafia—as a warning to the U.S. government to get out of their business. The CIA forms a special kill unit to go after the Russians. After a pair of assassins kill the original team leader, Tacoma takes over the operation. The odds are stacked against him because the Russians own a traitor in the government, the senior California senator, who keeps the bad guys apprised of the operation from its very inception. In the exciting climax, Tacoma goes hand-to-hand with the Russian mob boss. Authentic tradecraft and top-notch action scenes propel the plot. Coes continues to more than hold his own in a crowded thriller field. Agent: Nicole James, Chalberg & Sussman. (July)