After serving six years in jail for numerous crimes, power broker Joel Backman is suddenly pardoned by an outgoing president under demand of the CIA. Joel is released from jail, but must now agree to live in Italy under a new name and a new identity while closely being guarded by a secret agent named Luigi. Although there is no hint of why Joel is living in Italy, we eventually get to know that he was involved in the sale of an illegal satellite system. Before he was able to make a deal with a country, his partner was suddenly killed, after which Joel pleads guilty for his crimes and flees to jail. The CIA wants to know who created the illegal satellite, and therefore devises a plan in which Joel will be set loose in Italy while they leak his whereabouts to countries such as Russia and China. The CIA doesn't want to know if Backman will survive or not; there is no chance of that; the question is – who will kill him?
The review of this Book prepared by Walid Khalid
Washington D.C. attorney and power broker Joel Backman is serving time for unnamed crimes against the United States as the story opens. With six years behind him and fourteen more to go, he is shocked when an outgoing President (urged on by a crafty CIA chief) pardons him free and clear. Well, almost.
The catch is that Backman must agree to leave the U.S. and live in CIA-guarded exile in Italy under the seemingly benevolent thumb of a CIA agent named Luigi. Although we don't know exactly what Backman has done wrong, we know he was involved as a power broker for an incredible Star Wars-type satellite program. Before he can complete a sale to a potential buyer (Israelis? Saudis? Russians?), the feds move in and arrest him and his business partner. Soon afterward, the partner has a suspicious suicide. A nervous Backman now agrees to serve time.
When he is suddenly released, he takes up a new life in a small Italian town as Marco Lazerri. A good deal of the middle of the book is taken up with intenisve Italian lessons. Yes, Italian lessons, and not a little sightseeing. Anyhow, the day arrives when the CIA leaks Backman's location to the major satellite players. Now, the CIA can sit back and see which player arrives to remove Backman permanently. That will tidy up their file on the satellite mess.
The review of this Book prepared by Karen Boyd