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Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-7335461-4-0
  • 350 pages
  • $4.99
A Disappearance
G.E. Forth, author
There are two avenues into the world of human trafficking: be forced; or volunteer. And to be clear: no one really volunteers. When young Sofia is snatched from in front of her home in Moscow, she begins an unimaginable journey into the depths of human cruelty. Were it not for her godfather, Alexander Popov, a senior officer in the Russian internal security services, her plight would have been hopeless. His hands are tied when it comes to locating her, but he knows that Reynolds Merrill, the chief of clandestine services for the CIA, maintains a dark operation in Europe that finds people, and so he issues a plea for help. Dark operatives Robert Chase and Samantha D’Aubrisson live a quietly in the South of France when they are not on assignment. When called back to duty, they can slide unrecognized across borders and locate almost anyone. Correction – anyone. Sometimes the ops are messy; in others they arrive and disappear like ghosts. Chase has a forgettable face and an ability to look like almost anyone at a moment’s notice. Sam remains a mystery. She has a hard edge at times, and more about her past is to be revealed in this story. Let us just say it involves firearms. Sofia is quickly spirited halfway across the world to a prostitution finishing school in Mexico. Her sad future is to become a plaything for a wealthy Chinese mobster, but the mistress at the school must first break her spirit. This never quite happens. Sofia is a fighter and knows her ability to escape will improve as she is sold to someone else and moved elsewhere. That person is Lung Hong-li, a member of the infamous Big Circle Gang that runs extensive crime operations in China and the United States. He believes he is untouchable. We will have to see if that is true. While the operation to recover Sofia is taking place, Chase is abducted, creating a dilemma for Samantha. Should she abandon the girl to save her partner, or should she do things sequentially and risk Chase’s life to save another? Success in whichever she chooses is not guaranteed. The action rages across Mexico, Southern California, Macau, and Russia. In the end, no one is safe.
Reviews
This heart-stopping thriller, third in the Robert Chase series, is set in a darkly fascinating post-Soviet world. Covert CIA agents Robert Chase and his wife and partner, Samantha D’Aubrisson, search for the kidnapped goddaughter of a senior Russian security officer. To find and dismantle an international sex trafficking ring involving both ex-KGB and Chinese criminals, Chase and his associates must travel the world, taking on spy agencies and police in multiple countries.

Forth keeps the action at a boil. Action scenes are choreographed with meticulous detail and are populated with hard-edged killers who bring down their opponents without hesitation. Indeed, some scenes—the graphic rape of a child and torture with a blowtorch—might be too grim for some readers. But overall, action aficionados will delight in well-staged shootouts and imaginatively described violence: a quickly dispatched guard "now sported a red badge on his forehead and another on his face."

The author doesn't neglect characterization: Chase is capable of terrifying violence but prefers to avoid firearms, and D’Aubrisson smoothly moves between gunplay and love for Chase, perhaps her only loyalty. Their associate Wolf stands out as a seriously disturbed soldier—he is disappointed when he loses a chance to kill. Especially well-drawn is Russian security chief Popov, an unmoored ex-KGB agent who has a complex frenemy relationship with his opposite number in the CIA—a metaphor for the dynamic between the U.S. and Russia. The beautifully paced scenes, full of red-meat action, and the well-developed characters will keep readers turning pages to the satisfying denouement.

Takeaway: Vividly described fight scenes and an engaging cast of well-detailed and coldly effective black ops agents make this book especially rewarding for fans of spy thrillers.

Great for fans of: Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B+

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-7335461-4-0
  • 350 pages
  • $4.99

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