Operator Down: A Pike Logan Thriller #12. Brad Taylor. Dutton/Penguin Random House Publishing Group. January 2018. 464 pp. ISBN#: 9781101984819.
The Taskforce is back again with Pike Logan, Knuckles and Jenny actively working a simple surveillance mission. Their job is to find out if a certain party involved in the Israeli diamond business is involved in a plot that could seriously embarrass and damage Israel’s reputation on a world-wide scale. But the simple mission blows up and goes awry, winding up with Pike’s good Israeli friends, Aaron and Shoshanna in serious trouble.
Aaron is kidnapped by South African forces who believe he is spying for America or Israel against their takeover of the government in Lesotho, South Africa. Shoshanna is a secret Israeli, former Mossad, agent who is a hot-tempered killing machine who turns deadly at the slightest attempt at deception.
The plot thickens and it turns out the Taskforce has wandered smack into a military coup in Lesotho and a plot by an American arms dealer to sell “triggers” for putting together a nuclear bomb to the right bidder. The latter must be stopped and that part of the plot is told in fragments as the kidnapping of Aaron takes precedence. Shoshanna doesn’t believe the group is doing enough to rescue her husband Aaron and so spends most of the novel alternatively going rogue when inflamed and cooperating when the Taskforce proves they are being trustful and loving.
The Taskforce follows its usual game plan of tracking the multi-layered group of “bad guys” who are either involved in nuclear arms dealing or government takeovers. At times it’s a bit drawn out and too long. However, bones break, bodies fly, and death is an ever-distracting moment away for all the characters involved in this mission.
Shoshanna prevails as the main character here, at points even turning against Pike and Jennifer. The force of her character leaves the readers breathless. Indeed the ending of the novel will also leave the reader stunned, far distant from what one expected. Again, a thriller that’s great adventure and a true international spy story to rival its counterparts in the genre!