Ken Fite continues to impress with a political thriller that hooks the reader in the early chapters. I discovered Fite by accident earlier this week and was blown away by his writing, which made reading the entire Blake Jordan series a must. Having decided to isolate himself from those closest to him, Blake Jordan is all but off the radar. However, a series of cyberattacks that come in the form of ransomware has Jordan making his way to the Washington Field Office for the Department of Domestic Counterterrorism (DDC), his former place of work. Awkwardly facing his former partner and love interest, Agent Jami Davis, Jordan tries to prove that he can help, having many of the skills to track down these hackers. When a bomb blast rocks the Field Office, Jordan is fingered as a potential suspect, though his contacts within the intelligence community soon prove that to be a false lead. It would appear someone is trying to target him, as he is tied to many of the events taking place across Washington and back in his native Chicago. When a New York Times reporter begins digging around and making some strong allegations, Jordan goes to his boss, President Keller, to diffuse the situation. It is then that he learns that he’s been deceived and that a high-ranking terror suspect, presumed dead in an attack from months ago, is actually still alive and being held covertly. It is then that the pieces begin to fall into place, Jordan’s being targeted by the Russians for his actions six months earlier and nothing but the return of the prisoner will end the ongoing attacks. There appears to be a mole within the Administration or the Intelligence community, feeding both the media and these Russian terrorists key pieces of information that could vilify Jordan and even end President Keller’s career prematurely. With Jordan on the run and Agent Davis trying to help, it will take nothing short of all they have to bring down the Russian cell and discover the mole. The president’s future depends on Jordan’s abilities, but sometimes the present is more important than what is to come! Fite does a masterful job yet again pulling together this novel and offers up a wonderful cliffhanger on which series fans can ponder. Easily read as a standalone—as is said in dust jacket blurbs, though I am beginning to doubt this assumption—but a wonderful complement to the previous novels in the series, should the reader wish to embark on a larger adventure. Highly recommended to those who love a good thriller, particularly the reader who has read the previous three books.
Ken Fite has an intensity to his writing that I have not seen in years! His mix of thrill writing and knowledge of the inner workings of American politics makes for the perfect recipe to appease those who enjoy political thrillers. Fite’s ongoing exploration of Blake Jordan provides the reader with something on which to latch, even without further backstory revelations. Blake Jordan may have isolated himself from others after feeling he is ‘cursed’, but his drive to solve those missions before him proves to be his greatest asset. While his amorphous position within the Administration could cause blowback, Jordan handles it with ease. Jordan and Agent Jami Davis pair up nicely, even though their strain has led to an ongoing theme in the novels. Their professional work is second to none, getting to the core of yet another terror threat. The other characters who grace the pages of the novel are a mix of returning vets and new faces, all of whom add flavour to the plot. Fite writes in such a way that each story can stand on its own, though I am beginning to doubt the ‘standalone’ theory that is peddled on the dust jacket. By this, the fourth novel, there are too many threads that connect the series to be able to recommend anyone dive into the middle of the series and try to find their way. I can only suggest that the new reader stop, take a breath, and begin with the first novel, which reads as smoothly as the others. Thereafter, all the side comments will make much sense. The pace of the novel helps make it stand out and will surely grab the reader’s attention from the outset, particularly with short chapters that use well-placed cliffhangers to propel the reader to ‘try a little more before stopping’. I’ve binge-read the series in four days, which speaks to how easily they can be tackled, should time permit!
Kudos, Mr. Fite, for a great series that has not lost its momentum. Now, the crash, as I wait for the fifth book to be published!
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons