HarperCollins, Sep 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
Security failed at the New Mexico base when two generators exploded. The blasts enable Russian spy Irina Kolodenkova to obtain a top secret disc and an even higher classified block of the deadliest weapon ever made, Whirlwind. Irina flees for her country's San Francisco embassy so that the seventy pounds weapon of mass destruction can be sent to Moscow.
Sam, the National Security Advisor knows that this incident could hurt national security, but worse derail his plans to run for the Oval office. He recruits his best dirty jobs person, former CIA Agent fiftyish widower Charlie McKenzie to “save the country” by recovering the disc and the block; use any means including murder to stop Irina from delivering the weapon in exchange for $20 million. Charlie rejects the patriotic cry because he spent two years in prison protecting the administration especially his bosses from taking falls for crimes they committed. Charlie catches up to Irina, but Sam's second agent Johan Schmidt catches up with both of them with the intent of killing the duo and retrieving the disk and the block.
This is an exciting action-packed espionage thriller that focuses on a series of chases in which Charlie is either the pursuer or the pursued. Except for Charlie, whose ironic wit makes him human albeit super spy, much of the rest of the key players seem cartoonist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner