Performance Anomalies. Victor Robert Lee. Perimeter Six Publisher. December 2012. 290 pp., hbk, ISBN #: 9781938409226.
CONO is the perfect wheeler and dealer. He's a loner who's got several girls he cares for but no attachments stopping him from globe-trotting to each new, dangerous job. The story begins when he gets an early morning telephone call in Istanbul, Turkey, that a woman, Xiao Lin, is being held captive in Kazakhstan. He sets out to rescue her, only to be sucked into a business deal that will involve bidders for oil-rich Kazakhstan. Xiao Lin is kidnapped again, to make sure he doesn't back out of the deal and to assure he will be successful. He knows there's something way out of the ordinary about this job but his feelings for Xiao Lin keep him proceeding according to the plans he's been given.
There's plenty of blood, guts and gore for the addicted spy thriller fans and an added piece to the mystery that involves getting uranium for nuclear weapons. As the story develops, CONO makes plenty of enemies, including the Chinese who will do anything to get what they want and a jihadist whose mission and goals CONO understands but is not willing to assist. What CONO sees as just a business deal for money is to others power that is far-reaching beyond oil-rich fields. The reader has to be sharp with the number of names and places that appear without a moment's notice in this fast-paced thriller, but it's well worth the effort.
Performance Anomalies is a roller-coaster ride through a relatively unknown part of the world to most Westerners but it is all the more real because it bears so much factual basis that could just be happening today or in the near future. CONO is a cool, highly skilled dealer and killer when he has to be who does the job so well that the political future of Kazakhstan changes because of his action. Neatly done, Victor Robert Lee!