Two men from two very different worlds, pitted against each other in a race against time. The Saracen is a radicalized Muslim. His father was beheaded for daring to speak out against the government. His son vows to take down that government and believes the best way to do so is to cripple the United States which supports his government overseas. His plan is to become a doctor and then to manipulate the smallpox gene so that it can be introduced into the population with a one hundred percent fatality rate.
Fighting against him is the best man the CIA ever had in the field. He has retired while still a young man but is brought back in to fight and defeat the man who has hatched this plan. His name does not matter as he changes identities as often and easily as other men change their shirts. He goes undercover to Turkey where a call between the Saracen and a woman has been intercepted to locate and stop him. His cover is as an FBI agent who has come to investigate the death of a young tech billionaire. While solving that case, he discovers that Saracen has moved further ahead with his plan than anyone had suspected. Can he uncover the plot and find Saracen in time to avoid the thousands or millions of deaths his plot can kill?
Terry Hayes is a screenwriter and his work on framing stories in a taut visual manner pays off in this thriller. Told from the alternating views of the Saracen and the man sent to thwart his plan, the reader is fascinated with the life stories and maneuvers of each man. All the characters are finely drawn, even those in lesser supporting roles. The action is suspenseful and perhaps timely in this time of pandemic. This book is recommended for thriller readers.