by Jim Geraghty (Discus Books)
I read this book on a recommendation from somebody also knew that I liked thrillers, not expecting it to also have a paranormal edge. So if you happen to enjoy paranormal mysteries, spy thrillers, and paramilitary fiction this will be right up your alley.
The title is a reference to one of the main characters: Katrina, a woman who was born in Turkmenistan, who made that analogy about her formative years there—where she had to exist as a non-Muslim in a place that was a tug-of-war between the Soviet Union and the mullahs. She’s now a CIA operative in a supposedly rogue group that the rest of the agency considers to be off their rockers. She and her husband — Alex, a CIA forensic accountant who absolutely refuses to let her go into the field alone — go to some rather exotic places to unravel a horrible terrorist mystery with its roots in her birth country. This is not your typical terrorism spy thriller, not at all. The terrorists in the story understand how American society works and they are doing their best to destroy us from within by playing on our existing divisions and fears, to increasingly devastating effect. They also have a hacker, which is I suppose is de rigueur in spy thrillers nowadays, a pretty motley of extremely competent people with the boss who doesn’t quite fit in at the CIA, and a bureaucracy that bucks them at every turn. But this is who you call when you need to get things done, kind of like a despised internal A-Team.
I don’t want to give anything away but the book has some really fascinating and different villains, with unusual motivations, and a lot of globetrotting and suspense as they chase down the clues to barely stay ahead of the total destruction of the USA.
It’s a page turner. I have to warn you, though, the paranormal parts don’t start to show up until the last quarter of the book – at least, not very much. But overall I was pleasantly surprised and, despite the fact that it needs a few edits , I’d like to read the rest of the series.