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“Hard Rain ”

★★★★☆

written by Harriet Klausner on 31/12/2009

Hard Rain
David Rollins
Bantam, Feb 23 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9780553805369

The U.S. Military Attache to Turkey, Colonel Emmet Portman vanishes for three days. When he is found dead in his home in Istanbul, alarm spreads amidst the American government. Whoever killed Portman tortured him before brutally murdering him.

Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agents Vin Cooper and Anna Masters arrive in Istanbul to investigate the gruesome homicide; as Vin puts it they are USAF internal affairs cops. However, before they can begin their inquest, other associates of the late Colonel are also killed in horrific ways. The obvious response is a serial killer is on the loose. However, the victims are diverse and vary in what is left behind; the only commonality is the abduction and execution are done with military precision.. However, with Portman's email being erased, Vin and Anna wonder why a crazed killer would do something of this sort making them wonder if someone needed to conceal something, but what and who remain elusive. As the two agents investigate on non-verbal terms (one can say a lot with a one finger salute) while the body count rises, they begin to uncover a military conspiracy to encourage coups to topple Middle Eastern governments, but neither is sure how to expose it without harming American interest; that is if they live long enough to do so.

This is an entertaining over the top thriller that has the audience accompanying the bickering lead couple (arguing when they rarely talk to each other) as they hop the globe starting in the Middle East going on to Africa and Tennessee. Fans will enjoy the action and the rapidity of the story line but what makes the tale fun is the lead couple working a deadly international case once again (see The Death Trust) while on non-speaking terms ever since she informed him she is "Dancing on the Ceiling" for JAG lawyer Col. Richard "Dick Wad" Wadding.

Harriet Klausner

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