If that all sounds like a lot, it is—Goldberg favors the explosive, the surprising, the over-the-top, with action and suspense set pieces all spiced with sharp, often comic dialogue. While Goldberg’s experience at the CIA as a covert action officer adds some credibility to the material, especially in relationships among the squad, the globe-crossing narrative strains credulity, perhaps pointedly so, especially as the stakes get higher. For readers on the book’s wavelength, though, that’s part of the fun, especially as Goldberg’s crew—who only kills when absolutely necessary—deploys unconventional strategies and inventive, highly advanced spy tech (hail the Devilbot drones), often to make up for that most reliable of genre staples, the constant incompetence of the more “official” intelligence agencies.
Thrills abound, but so do subplots, which can get thick as Bridger and co. close in on their quarry. The character voices and sharply sketched camaraderie of the team give the book a compelling heart, and Goldberg conjures up double-crosses, daring escapes, and bone-shattering action, described with clarity and power. Readers craving the spectacular from espionage thrillers will enjoy this entry’s “Greetings from the Devil.” A foreword from Bridger himself, attesting to the veracity of the story, is inspired.
Takeaway: This proudly over-the-top thriller pits an elite squad against the world’s greatest bomber.
Great for fans of: Brad Thor’s Takedown, Stephen Phillips’s Proximity.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B