cover image The Year of the Locust

The Year of the Locust

Terry Hayes. Atria/Bestler, $32 (800p) ISBN 978-1-6680-5578-6

Bestseller Hayes follows up I Am Pilgrim with a sprawling, genre-shattering feat that rewrites the rules for military thrillers. When an Iranian CIA informant reveals that ISIS founder Abu Muslim al-Tundra, who was previously assumed dead, is alive and planning a large-scale attack against America, the agency sends seasoned spy Ridley “Kane” Walker to Iran to investigate. Kane arrives to discover that the informant is dead, his cover is blown, and a trap awaits. Rather than flee, as protocol requires, Kane stays to save the dead man’s family before being captured and tortured by al-Tundra, who then escapes to Russia and takes charge of an aerospace facility that refines material retrieved from asteroids. When the CIA discovers that Kane defied procedure, he’s forced to resign, but the agency’s director pulls strings to have him assigned to a top secret submarine participating in war games trials. After the sub’s cloaking technology malfunctions, the story zigzags in and out of sci-fi territory as time travel, alien spores, and the threat of apocalypse come into play. Those expecting a Tom Clancy-esque military thriller might find the transition jarring, but more intrepid readers will be rewarded with a stunningly audacious climax. This is a major achievement. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (Feb.)