Book Review: 'Rogue Mission: A Jordan Sandor Thriller'
Jeffrey S. Stephens. Post Hill Press. 432 pp. Hardcover $26
Having never read any of Jeffrey Stephens' Jordan Sandor tales before, I really had no idea what I was in for when I picked up "Rouge Mission," the newest installment in the series, but after having put it down, I can clearly say I'm a Sandor fan and look forward to picking up the next book in the series should Stephens choose to continue with the character -- and I can really see no reason why he wouldn't.
Sandor is a CIA agent with a bit of an attitude and edge. Think Dirty Harry with a government license to kill. He's all about getting the job done and is willing to put it on the line to protect friends and innocent strangers alike. But if you're on the other side of the line of right and wrong, well, you better hope he's not the guy you have to deal with. Smart, strategic and capable in both hand-to-hand and weapon tactics, he's the complete package.
In "Rogue Mission," Sandor is running late for the swearing in of a former military superior and mentor who is about to take his position on the bench. As he arrives, the door to the courtroom is blown off its hinges, knocking Sandor to the floor but preserving him from the death experienced by many inside the courtroom. Injured, Sandor is put on the sideline to allow for recovery, but he is more interested in discovering more about the hows and whys surrounding the death of his friend and those trapped in the planned explosion.
He is also approached by a former military friend, with whom he had shared time under the supervision of the now deceased judge. The friend, now a financial guru with a large trading firm, seeks his help and soon protection from Sandor following the death of two close colleagues.
Sandor agrees to aid his friend outside his role as a CIA agent while on leave from service, but soon discovers connections between his mentor's death and the deaths of those connected to the financial firm. He begins a trek which reconnects him with former lover Beth Sharrow and a group of other operatives and takes him from the United States to Bermuda, the United Kingdom, France and finally into the desert of Iraq where he is forced into a showdown with a group of terrorists with designs on killing thousands and pinning the blame on the United States. And as Sandor and his companions continue to uncover leads and foil the enemy's efforts, the body count continues to grow, adding a few gray hairs and sleepless nights to the CIA agent's superiors.
What makes this such an interesting read is the blend of international investment interests, corruption with respected world-service organizations, volunteer relief missions and radical extremist terrorism and how they tie together. Credit the author with giving us a character who can play the entire field -- certainly vulnerable and imperfect -- but dedicated to doing the right thing in service to his friends, peers and his country.
A great read for fans of complex circumstances made easy and understandable. The chapters are short which allows plenty of great stopping points for folks who need to put the book down for some reason, but honestly, you're not going to want to. Stephens keeps you locked in and engaged, wanting to keep reading to see what happens next.
I look forward to catching up on the other Sandor books I missed and am anxiously anticipating the opportunity to enjoy the next.