Taking Morgan: A Political Thriller

David Rose. Skyhorse, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-63450-249-8

Hefty doses of melodrama undercut British author Rose's fiction debut, a thriller set in 2007 and based on an actual covert operation. Veteran CIA agent Morgan Cooper continues to seek out hazardous fieldwork, even with two small children waiting for her back home. Her husband, Adam, a prominent human rights lawyer, is about to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a Lebanese-American convicted of terrorism for having given almost $100,000 to an Islamic charity that was a front for Hamas. Morgan's first attempt to cross into Gaza fails, but thanks to an Israeli who seemingly met her by chance as she jogged on a Tel Aviv beach, she's able to enter the territory. While the CIA's priority is keeping Gaza out of Hamas's control, Morgan's first act on reaching Gaza City is to jump into the arms of her contact, a tryst interrupted when she's abducted. Adam's efforts to gain her freedom and Morgan's to stay alive aren't enough to sustain interest, and the real-life inspiration for the plot comes across as window dressing. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Nov.)