The Island (Dewey Andreas #9), by Ben Coes

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ben Coes, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Whenever Ben Coes decides to publish something, fans of political thrillers should take notice. Coes is able to mix wonderful political backstories with intense strategic fighting in novels that show just how important agents of the CIA can be in the protection of America. In this latest from the Dewey Andreas series, it would appear that the Republic of Iran has been working with Hezbollah to strike terror into the hearts of Americans with a plot like no other. Before doing so, someone will have it remove Andreas from the equation. While this is undertaken, it’s a close call, but nothing will deter Hezbollah from their plan. Targeting the sitting US president, they set their sights on Manhattan, as the UN General Assembly is expecting the Leader of the Free World to speak. What follows is a harrowing tale that pushes Andreas to act swiftly, trying to save America from what could be its worst attack yet. Sensational writing in a series that keeps getting better.

Dewey Andreas is a man who is known around the world for his protection of America. A CIA operative, Andreas has foiled plots hatched by some of the world’s most ruthless countries and assassinated many who needed to die. However, with this fame comes a large target on his back, something the leadership within the Republic of Iran wish to highlight. While working with Hezbollah the Iranians concoct a plan to bring America to its knees and see Dewey Andreas dead, but it will take precise planning for it to work.

While Andreas is targeted, he narrowly escapes and agrees to a unique bit of R&R with a woman he is getting to know. While he’s resting up, all eyes are on New York City, where US President Dellenbaugh is set to address the UN General Assembly. As POTUS makes his way there, hundreds of Hezbollah fighters are strategically positioned to take out all access to Manhattan when they explode massive bombs in each of the found tunnels connecting it to the rest of the city.

As Dellenbaugh is inside the UN, additional forces storm ther building, leaving many dead as they push to reach the Great Satan. Dellenbaugh, a past sports star, wants to defend himself, but soon discovers that these are men on a mission, willing to die for their cause. As the game of cat and mouse commences, many scramble to find safety amidst all the chaos.

Dewey Andreas and a few of his fellow agents are called into duty, as the true nature of the attack becomes clearer. It will take strategy and patience to locate POTUS and ensure his safety, all while killing those who seek to bring America down. Andreas always puts country before anything else, so it will take little to convince him. However, with Dellenbaugh severely injured, this might be too little too late. All the while, something’s up with the Federal Reserve!

There’s nothing that compares to the work of Ben Coes, particularly when he is on his game. This is the ninth novel in the series, which has not lost any of its intensity or intrigue. Dewey Andreas is in fine form and shows why he is a key character in the genre, happy to help his country in whatever way possible. Adding some intense political drama and a secondary plot to keep the reader enthralled, Coes shows why he belongs with other household names in the thriller genre.

Those who have followed the series will know that Dewey Andreas has a hard shell that is all but impossible to penetrate. However, once you do, there is much depth to the man. His rough exterior is a front, but also a means of keeping his focussed on the task at hand, usually protecting the country and its institutions. Andreas shows why he is a stellar part of the CIA, with some great character development and a few threads left untied for future novels.

The cast of secondary characters is, as usual, top notch and shows that Ben Coes is always thinking. There are a number of individuals who have been along for the ride throughout the series, as well as some one-offs, all of whom add depth and flavour to the story. The intensity of the piece is furthered by the development of these men and women on both sides of the good/evil divide, which keeps the reader flipping pages just to discover what adventures await them.

As with many of the past novels, this is a highly addictive story that keeps moving without hesitation. The narrative flows well, told primarily in a single day, and keeps the reader wanting more. The multi-faceted plot is perfect for the book and makes the story come to life. Short chapters are timestamped to show the minute-by-minute progression of the action, which only makes the reader want to read more to discover what’s to come. I could not pull myself away from this book, bingeing it whenever I could. This is surely one of the best in the series and treats a threat to the US as something plausible with many moving parts. Series fans will not be disappointed, though those who are not well-versed on Dewey Andreas really ought to start at the beginning in order to capture many of the nuances.

Kudos, Mr. Coes, for a stellar piece of writing. You’ve made a fan out of me long ago and I hope others can echo my sentiments.

Be sure to check for my review, first posted on Mystery and Suspense, as well as a number of other insightful comments by other reviewers.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: