Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guest Review: Beloved Enemy

Summary: New from Eric Van Lustbader, the author of The Bourne Legacy and The Bourne Betrayal, comes Beloved Enemy, the thrilling fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Jack McClure series. 

In the stunning follow up to Father Night, Jack McClure faces a choice: help the woman he loves, or destroy her as the enemy she is. 

Shortly after McClure leaves a late night meeting with Dennis Paull, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Paull is found—shot dead. The President is furious but equally frightened of a scandal, since Jack McClure is one of their own—an operative and Paull's friend. Who will protect the country if even McClure cannot be trusted? 

With top officials in the CIA and FBI after him, McClure, still devastated over his friend’s death, goes on the run. Someone framed him for Paull's murder, possibly to prevent him from accomplishing Paull's last request—a task vital to U.S. National Security. Someone in the intelligence community has gone rogue and is reporting to The Syrian, one of the most cruel, aggressive terrorists McClure and Paull have ever come across. McClure has been charged with securing the name of the mole, but when Paull’s informant goes missing, McClure realizes his mission has only begun. 

Jack may be setting off after a mole, but he knows that ultimately he will have to confront The Syrian. Which also means confronting The Syrian's lover, Annika Dementieva, the woman Jack once loved and lost. 

On a quest to find the mole before cloaked agents around the world are exposed and murdered, Jack will soon find himself facing his own beloved enemy… -- Forge

In the past, my dad has reviewed a few books from the Jack McClure series by Eric Van Lustbader. As soon as he discovered that there was a new one out called BELOVED ENEMY, he mentioned that he was interested in reading it. Here are his thoughts:

BELOVED ENEMY is Eric Van Lustbader’s fifth thriller of his Jack McClure series. In this installment, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Dennis Paull, has just given Jack an assignment to find a mole high up in the U. S. government. When Paull is found dead in his home Jack is the prime suspect as both the mole and the murderer.

 Jack quickly escapes the U.S. under cover and travels to Bangkok and Switzerland to find the one person he thinks can identify the mole and clear him of the accusations. Unfortunately for Jack the individual he is chasing is close to Iraj Namazi, aka The Syrian, a ruthless terrorist who Jack has crossed paths with in a prior novel. This also leads Jack to Anna Dementeva, his former lover who betrayed Jack to be with Namazi. Along the way Jack must deal with Namazi’s organization, Anna and a brutal killer called Redbird who has an assignment from a top U.S. official to kill him.

 An interesting aspect of this novel is the mistrust and infighting that exists among the President’s men at the FBI, the CIA, the Military and the Department of Homeland Security. These men actually implicate each other in front of the President. The other aspect of the story is involved with Anna’s late grandfather’s fortune where Anna, Namazi and a third individual all have parts of a code they think will lead to the fortune and more importantly key contacts from his corrupt empire.

As is always the case with Van Lustbader, he provides enough information from prior novels to allow the current novel to stand on its own. However, as he adds new installments it becomes more difficult to follow the storyline without reading the prior novels.

One criticism of the book for me was the large number of characters with complicated names that became very difficult to follow without referring back to prior chapters. This is a constant problem for me in all Lustbader’s novels in this series.

 BELOVED ENEMY is an action packed political thriller with plenty of sex, murder, lies, deceit and intrigue. In fact I think compared to the prior novels Lustbader has increased the brutality of the killings and has become more detailed in describing the sexual encounters. I also think that the author has become more creative in finding ways for Jack to escape sure death situations. Even though plenty of Jack’s enemies are killed off in this story, I think enough remain for another addition to the Jack McClure series.

If you enjoy a faced paced thriller with lots of twists and turns or are a fan of Eric Lustbader you’ll enjoy BELOVED ENEMY.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel and to Booking Pap Pap for his review.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds good except for the complicated names!

Beth F said...

I keep thinking I should read this series -- especially because your dad likes the books so much.