Retired operative Paul Janson is called back to the spy game to settle a personal debt he owes. Peter Novak, the legendary Hungarian immigrant and head of the Liberty Foundation, has been kidnapped and faces execution at the hands of terrorist extremists. It is up to Janson to rescue Novak before he is murdered.
Janson immediately puts together a top team and manages the nearly impossible task of extricating Novak, but something goes horribly wrong - something that indicates the operation had been compromised from the start - and only Janson himself survives. Now the major intelligence services think that Janson was responsible for Novak's death and are sending their finest operatives after him...
Ludlum died in March 2001, but here he is again, back with yet another posthumous thriller. Such books rarely live up to the author's standards, but this one is different: it's vintage Ludlum big, brawny and loaded with surprises. The hero is Paul Janson, a private security consultant who retired a few years ago after a notorious career as the U.S. government's go-to guy for nasty jobs no one else was willing to take. Against his better judgment, Janson accepts an assignment to rescue Peter Novak, a Nobel Peace Prize winning philanthropist and international troubleshooter held captive by Islamic extremists on an island in the Indian Ocean. Janson pulls off the stunning rescue, but as they make their escape, Novak dies in a fiery explosion or does he? Janson has his doubts; within hours, he finds himself targeted by separate groups of assassins for reasons that baffle him. As he zigzags his way across Europe, leaving piles of bodies at each stop, he begins to wonder who Novak really is. The answer he eventually discovers provides readers with one of Ludlum's most outrageous plot twists in years. Extremely engaging and agonizingly suspenseful, Ludlum's plot bolts from scene to scene and locale to locale Hungary, Amsterdam, London, New York City never settling for one bombshell when it can drop four or five. If this wild, unpredictable and colorfully cast novel is Ludlum's swan song (he supposedly left behind notes for several thrillers), it's a memorable one indeed.