cover image Rage: A Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International Novel

Rage: A Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International Novel

Jonathan Maberry. St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-30357-8

Joe Ledger, the hero of bestseller Maberry’s Deep Silence and nine other thrillers, gets a reboot in this uneven series debut introducing Rogue Team International. Ledger, a member of this autonomous group of troubleshooters headed by his former boss at the U.S. Department of Military Sciences, faces a terrifying challenge after inhabitants of a North Korean island are infected with something that transforms them into rage-filled killers with a taste for human flesh. Ledger, whose considerable experience includes containing biohazards, goes to the island under the guise of a consultant for the World Health Organization. When evidence emerges of American involvement in the island’s devastation, international tensions escalate. Maberry undermines his efforts to suspend disbelief by having bad guys joke about being clichéd James Bond villains and making a Ledger ally, who’s Doc Holliday’s great-granddaughter, a “supergenius who looks like Dolly Parton.” Uneven prose (“all the fun drained from the day like blood from a dying body”) is another minus. The implausibilities outweigh everything else. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Nov.)