Series: Jeff Trask Crime Drama #8
Published by Self Published Genres: Action, Suspense
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Don’t miss Marc Rainer’s chilling new international thriller.
Marc Rainer is one of my favorite authors. He writes the Jeffrey Trask courtroom dramas have a Law and Order feel blending the investigations with the final courtroom drama. His latest novel is an edgy international thriller which gave me chills.
Former CIA operative Howard “Buck” Buckley has been assigned as the Special Activities Officer to the American Embassy in Greece. There is no doubt that the country is beautiful and that the food is only surpassed by the kindness of the Greek people. Buck would enjoy his reassignment if it wasn’t for his incompetent, bureaucratic boss. While that incompetence would normally only be annoying, it becomes life threatening when Buck receives a tip from an old acquaintance, Yuri Gilfoy of the Israeli Mossad.
Yuri is bending the classified information orders of his bosses to let an old friend know that Israel received information from an informant–code named: Oracle–that Iran has purchased three old Soviet suitcase nukes. These bombs being so dangerous due to their small size which allows them to be easily smuggled across borders. Yuri can only guess who Iran will be targeting. They believe one of them will be used against Israel, Iran’s biggest nemesis. Iran has also been offended by recent actions of the United Arab Embasies and they think Dubai will be their second target. So why is Yuri coming to Buck? Even though their informant hasn’t named the third target, Yuri is certain that their third target will be Athens, the birthplace of democracy.
Yuri needs Buck’s help to make sure that these bombs are intercepted before they can be activated and kill millions of people. Knowing that his boss won’t listen to what may be considered a vague, possible threat, Buck is on his own. That is until an old friend makes the mistake of picking Greece as his first post-covid vacation stop. Buck will enlist the help of former U.S Prosecutor Jeffrey Trask, to stop the terrorists from destroying the oldest monuments to democracy and the millions of casualties living around them.
Sometimes when I read a novel like this, I fear whether this story is the creation of an author with a twisted mind or whether someone knows some frightening information that the rest of us were thankfully unaware of. Then we have actual events overshadow the horrors that even any author can dream up.
Oracle brings a potential nightmare of political dirty deeds to light and while, hopefully, this is just a creative idea, it is based upon a real possibility that there is some cold war storage locker filled with horrific toys of mass destruction, and the only thing keeping them locked up is someone’s very shaky conscience. There are things that still exist that once upon a time no one would actually use but kept “just in case,” and presently all it takes is a large pile of money for someone to dust those somethings off and pretend that the horror someone else is willing to create, is not their fault. Here someone in Russia is willing to sell these very deadly bombs that no one actually dared to use during the Cold War simply because they need to fund their current war, and they don’t seem to have any concerns that the Iranians actually plan to use them against human beings.
Oracle takes us away from the usual Law-and-Order style story that is the Jeffrey Trask series, but this new story focusing mainly on Buck is an exciting thriller which mimics real life politics and shows the deadly repercussions once political goals outweigh human lives. But is also shows that the there are people who will risk their own lives in exchange for millions of innocent people.
I love the Jeff Trask series but would equally enjoy this new espionage series featuring Howard Buckley, and I hope we build a new group of trusted spies and former spies that we can count on to keep our world safe.
Good question. And we both know that the easiest way to smuggle a bomb would be a diplomatic pouch delivery to their embassy. Did you read your friend Yuri in on this?”
“Tried to. Texting back and forth last night. He thought it was too ambiguous to justify any operations. They’ve decided they’re going to wait on the telephone checks for now rather than create an international act of war by invading the territory of Iran in Greece. Anyway, what do you think about those options I laid out for you?”
Trask looked long and hard at his friend.
“I’m a history major, Buck. I’ve studied every military campaign in Europe, the western hemisphere, and some even in Asia. Every time I read about some monumental blunder that claimed the lives of hundreds, or thousands, or even millions, I always wondered what I would have done or could have done if I’d been on the scene. Would I have joined the plot to assassinate Hitler? Maybe I’d have done it in Bavaria before his putsch, and stopped him from ever even coming to power. Look at the first world war: idiot generals on both sides, throwing infantry and horse cavalry over artillery-cleared fields into overlapping fields of machine fire. Millions dying for nothing. Generals applying the tactics of Napoleon in the age of tanks, aircraft, and machine guns.
“If I had a time machine, for example, I’d go back to that not so ‘Great War,’ and put a bullet into the head of the one General Luigi Cadorna, the Italian Chief of Staff. Just up the coast of the Adriatic, a few hundred miles from here, are the Julian Alps in what is now Slovenia. It used to be part of the Austro-Hungary Empire. Anyway, Cadorna kept sending wave after wave of Italian infantry not just uphill, but literally up-mountain into the face of murderous artillery and machine gun fire. The Isonzo front. Hemingway wrote about it in A Farewell to Arms. That moron Cadorna said that machine guns were a passing fad, and he killed more than a million of his own men trying to prove it.
“So, either I’m a hypocrite for saying all that over the years, and I run away from the fire when a real opportunity to save millions present itself, or I try to help you make a difference. We’ve been given that rare chance when no time machine is required.”
He stared at his friend again. “I’m in.”