Back Blast: A Gray Man Novel. Mark Greany. Penguin Group (USA). February 2016. 528 pp. ISBN#: 9780425282793.
CIA Operative Court Gentry has been running around the world, trying to evade those who follow him in order to kill him. Court can’t understand why these people are those whom he used to work with. Throughout the beginning of the novel, Court replays past cases in his mind, trying to figure out what he did that deserved a termination order.
Now Court decides to turn it around and pursue those would-be killers, as he’d had to kill those who almost caught him. Every death has added to his enemy’s determination to finish what they believe is a former agent gone rogue. So imagine their shock when they discover that Court has invaded a drug den in order to obtain the money and weapons he needs for his mission. The bloody aftermath has the earmarks of his work all over it but in particular a number 6 etched in the dust, a symbol of the agent known as Sierra Six, Six, the Gray Man, or the most commonly used name, Violator. Now he’s determined to discover his former superiors and colleagues to try to get out of them the reason for this hunt.
On the other side of the coin, we have Denny Carmichael, head of the National Clandestine Services. He’s on top of the game and only one man is slotted for his job eventually. Other men know Carmichael controls every agent and circumstances and fear crossing him. But not one of them knows the real reason Carmichael is determined to end the life of Court.
In the pursuit of his hunt, Court winds up being responsible for killing more agents or former agents, but it also happens that a hidden sniper kills one of them and the news manipulates the account so that Court is blamed. Court is wounded seriously but manages to patch himself together as he relentless pursues what he now realizes is more about Carmichael than it is Court. Back Blast was the beginning of a game that stretched all the way to the Middle East and back to Washington, D.C.
Greany, the writer who co-authored many Tom Clancy novels, knows how to spin a riveting, pulse-racing plot that reads much like spy thriller novels of old, like those of Robert Ludlum. For those who love crime novels or political thrillers, you certainly will be thrilled with this intense, fast-paced thriller fiction! Good read for sure!