by Andy McNab
- OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
March 29, 1999
A rogue Special Air Service agent on the lam in suburban America with the seven-year-old daughter of a murdered colleague. Sounds like the latest Bruce Willis vehicle, costarring that little girl from the Pepsi commercials. But McNab, a former SAS agent himself and author of two nonfiction books on the subject, manages to balance the clich s and cuteness with large doses of tradecraft taken from his 17 years of undercover experience. When Nick Stone describes how to maintain a fictitious address or reveals the secrets of tracing a call made from a public telephone, the details ring true--and help get us over some of the more ludicrous speed bumps in his story. Stone, tracking two Irish terrorists from London to Washington, is suddenly ordered back home on the next available flight. His old mate Kevin Brown, now with the Drug Enforcement Agency, lives nearby, so Nick decides to drop in. He finds a slaughterhouse: Kev, his wife, and youngest daughter have been murdered, but daughter Kelly has survived in a special hideout. Prying information from the shocked child, Stone links the killers to either the CIA, the DEA or his own organization--which means that he and Kelly are on the run from everybody. As Nick trundles the spunky youngster from one seedy motel to another, stuffs her with junk food and teaches her the rudiments of espionage, he puts together a picture of why Kevin and his family were killed--a connection between a terrorist bomb scare in Gibraltar in 1988, the Colombian drug cartel and high-level intelligence agency skullduggery. The vast network of sinister collaborations isn't startling, but McNab reliably delivers the believable, real-life details and keeps readers' attention with steady, careful prose until the predictable but satisfying end. (June) FYI: Remote Control was the number one bestseller in London's Sunday Times for seven weeks. Because of McNab's SAS involvement, and his wanted status by several terrorist groups, he makes no public appearances.
- Aside from slight word usage and Ric Jerrom's British accent, there's little difference between this explosive novel and one written by American authors like Tom Clancy. You might even say this British writer moves things along faster. Nick Stone, a British Intelligence operative and his friend, Kev Brown, foil an attempted bombing by remote control; later Stone stumbles into the aftermath of the murder of Brown and most of Brown's family. Jerrom's cockney at first gets in the way, but his crisp businesslike reading soon has one concentrating on the plot. Jerrom's a credible agent and a whiny 8-year-old. His only failing is an occasional pause in the middle of a sentence. A.L.H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
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