cover image Winterlong


Mason Cross. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-68177-314-8

British author Cross’s subpar third thriller starring shadowy Carter Blake (after 2016’s The Samaritan) adds nothing new to a familiar espionage fiction scenario—a covert operative on the run from his former employers. Blake worked for seven years for a secret group known as Winterlong, which originated in the Pentagon but now has its headquarters in midtown Manhattan. It was designed to be an “agile, kinetic response to emerging threats, focusing on bringing together the top tier of military and intelligence operators in a small, compartmentalized unit.” Now the agents of Winterlong are after Blake because he possesses “something that could, perhaps, take down the whole organization.” Blake learns he’s in the crosshairs while in California tracing the thief of valuable software that would enable its legitimate owner to “make Facebook look like a paper journal.” His cross-country race to stay alive features predictable collateral damage and narrow escapes. Series fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Luigi Bonomi, LBA (U.K.). (Feb.)