Delacorte, Jul 2003, 24.95, 484 pp.
US Navy intelligence officer Alan Craik and friend NCIS Special Agent Mike Dukas recover from a shoot-out with traitor George Shreed. Craik lost two fingers and was shot in the collarbone, which has led to his driving his wife navy pilot Rose crazy, as he is a terrible patient.
Not fully recuperated, Craik persuades his superiors to send him to Jakarta to evaluate a plan involving Chinese agents. However, Agent Jerry Piat is also part of the assessment and he wants revenge for what Craik did to his idol, Shreed. Piat firmly gives credence to someone as heroic as his mentor who had to be innocent and thus set up by Craik. The Chinese agents see this as an opportunity also for what Craik did to one of them, Colonel Chen. Suddenly Craik is caught in the crosshairs of the CIA erasing evidence of Shreed's treason and a Chinese espionage team communicating with submarines off the American Pacific Northwest that could lead to a terrorist strike against an American aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean.
If this novel sounds complex it is because HOSTILE CONTACT is a multi-layered tale that comes together as few can. The key to the return of Craik is the combining of modern techno spying with pre IT espionage smoothly consolidated into an action packed thriller that never slows down until the final convergence. The cast is strong and real whether they are heroes, counteragents, or even tertiary players. Gordon Kent provides the espionage thriller crowd with a superb the spy who returned to the cold tale that should turn Craik novels (see TOP HOOK and PEACE MAKER) into bestsellers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner