One Minute Out: A Gray Man Novel #9. Mark Greaney. Penguin Publishing Group. February 2020. pb, 512 pp.; ISBN: 9780593098912.
Court Gentry, the Gray Man, is a hired assassin whose initial job is to take out a former criminal responsible for war crimes that destroyed hundreds of families. However, as this job is panning out, he discovers that this criminal is involved with something much worse, that of trafficking sex slaves. This reviewer has a tough time with this subject as these young women are stuck in a situation that is horrific to say the least. Anyway, Gentry knows he has a problem with a soft conscience but that means he can’t let this go. So he starts out by killing the leader and many of his so-called guards. Then he gets information on the fact that this business is far bigger than he had imagined. In fact it’s world-wide. We meet many of the leaders in the plumbing line, men who are interested in cruelty to these young women and beyond greedy for the millions they are making for their small part in planning and organizing the movement of this “product” as it’s called. Add to that that each leader has no idea who the others are or from where they are operating. This keeps the secret under wraps, but they are not used to the “Gray Man” who keeps showing up in the places where the product is being shipped.
Some may say the girls were partially responsible for being snared into this hellish trap but one has to find this unacceptable when realizing how they are now living. Add to this garbage the fact that the CIA, with whom Genry doesn’t have the greatest relationship, has an active interest in this group because they are also an active terrorist threat and so don’t want him near the top man of this trafficking organization known as the Consortium.
Two things work very well in this international crime novel. One is the fact that Gentry is one wild agent whose fighting abilities are the best you’ve ever encountered. The next is that he thinks everything out and really cares what happens to thee young women, wanting them to get to live a normal life that has no connection to sex trade. He also acknowledges that he has dark secrets in his past and so can excuse a certain amount of same when he meets in these women individually.
The novel doesn’t have a perfect ending but it’s a satisfactory one for the young girls and we learn that the CIA has an even “bigger” job coming up soon. So stay tuned for another action-packed international crime thriller! Mark Greaney has the plots ready and adds some very human elements that make this a huge success. Yes, it’s somewhat stereotypical but so are most of the books and movies of the same nature. It’s a good, adrenaline-pumping story that one could envision in film form! Nicely crafted, Mark Greaney!