Title: Back Blast by Mark Greaney
The Gray Man Series Book Five
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 528 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, comes an all-new explosive thriller featuring the lethal assassin known as the Gray Man…
Court Gentry was the CIA’s best agent. Until the day the Agency turned against him and put out a kill on sight order. That’s when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born—and Court has been working for himself ever since
Now, Court is back in Washington looking for answers. He’s determined to find out what happened all those years ago that made the Agency turn against him. On his list to interrogate are his former partners and the men who sent him on his last mission. What he doesn’t realize is that the questions that arose from that mission are still reverberating in the U.S. intelligence community, and he’s stumbled onto a secret that powerful people want kept under wraps. And now, they have Court in their crosshairs.
Court Gentry is used to having people on his trail, but this time, it’s on U.S. soil—the last place he wants to be. Now, he’ll have to find the answers to his fate while evading capture…and avoiding death.
Back Blast by Mark Greaney is a action-packed, pulse pounding adventure starring ex-CIA black ops operative Court Gentry. In this sixth installment of The Gray Man series, Court returns to the United States to find out why a “shoot on sight” order was issued for him five years earlier.
On the run for the past five years, Court just wants to come home. In order to make that happen, he has to find out why the director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, Denny Carmichael, issued the order. Relying on his finely honed instincts and exceptional ability to blend in anywhere, Court reaches out to a few of his former team members in hopes of learning answers while at the same time evading Carmichael’s official (and unofficial) team of highly skilled hit men.
Court has been living on the run and doing freelance work ever since he was “burned” by the CIA. With the help of a grateful Israeli agent, he managed to slip back into DC undetected where he then methodically sets up a safe zone and begins procuring the items necessary to begin his search for answers. Most of his former associates are either deceased or unwilling to assist him but CI Director of Special Activities Division, Matthew Hanley does help fill the missing puzzle pieces for Court. Although adversaries for much of the novel, a couple of his former team members eventually realize the accusations against him are out of character and they provide him with tactical assistance.
Court’s biggest foe is the all powerful Denny Carmichael. Willing to go to any lengths to ensure that Court is not taken alive, Denny takes full advantage of his position as he manipulates his underlings into doing his dirty work. He also carefully spins the events to point to Court as the mastermind of heinous plot which effectively puts Court in the crosshairs of every agency possible. While not everyone blindly follows his directives, Denny effectively keeps the people working for him in dark by evoking “national security” whenever anyone dares to question him about inconsistencies in the unfolding events or his motives for hunting Court.
Court is clever and for a good part of the novel, he is one step ahead of Denny and the task force that is hunting for him. He is inventive and makes full use of his previous training to remain out of sight but his frustration grows as he continues running into dead ends. He is the first to admit he is not an investigator, but his experience as an operative and his analytical mind aid him as he tries to figure out what steps to take to get to the bottom of the shoot on sight order. Despite his profession, Court is a good guy who tries to minimize collateral damage to the best of his ability and it does not take long for questions to arise when he becomes the fall guy for several murders. With a handful of allies now on his side, Court learns the truth behind the order, but will this newfound knowledge destroy him?
With exciting, over the top feats and non-stop action, Back Blast by Mark Greaney is a riveting political thriller that is impossible to put down. The storyline is well-executed with plenty of twists and turns that will keep readers guessing whether or not good will triumph over evil until the novel’s dramatic conclusion. An entertaining, high-octane thrill ride that will appeal to fans of the genre, this fifth installment in The Gray Man series can easily be read as a standalone.