Edwin Kreiss is a former FBI agent whose discovery of a Chinese espionage ring made him a lot of enemies and resulted in his early retirement. Now his daughter is missing, and nobody, least of all a junior G-woman named Janet Carter, is going to keep him from finding her. Browbeating the one clue to her disappearance out of a terrified college student, Kreiss follows his daughter's trail to a deactivated federal arsenal in southwestern Virginia, where a fanatic whose son was immolated at Waco is cooking up a plan to blow the ATF to bits.
Kreiss is uniquely qualified to play his role as hunter-in-chief. He's been trained as a "sweeper," a job title that refers to the cleanup of rogue agents and other enemies of the state, and he took a few high-tech search-and-destroy goodies with him when he was prematurely put out to pasture by his former employers. Now another sweeper wants to put him out of action, and Janet Carter's getting conflicting signals from her own superiors about just how much cooperation they're willing to give Kreiss as he sets out to rescue his daughter--and, incidentally, redeem his own troubled past.
P.T. Deutermann is a skillful writer who knows how to tell a story. This briskly paced thriller almost turns the pages by itself. Carter, the ostensible heroine of the novel, never quite extinguishes her ambivalence about either Kreiss or the agency she serves, an attempt at multidimensionality of character that's more confusing than revealing. The ending hints at a continued relationship between them, but it's Kreiss, rather than Carter, who engages the reader's attention and whose future we really care about. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Part action novel, part spy thriller, this explosive tour de force follows the adventures of aging superspy Edwin Kreiss, retired under a cloud, who sets Agency blood boiling when he steps out on his own to find his kidnapped college student daughter, Lynn, after the FBI stops looking. Rookie agent Janet Carter is informed of the spy's dark past, warned off when she digs for info, then ordered by creepy Agency and Justice drones with ulterior motives to keep tabs on Kreiss. Kreiss finds Lynn's cap near the Ramsey Arsenal, a dangerous mothballed toxic chemical complex in dense woods near Roanoke, and it's just a matter of time until he locates her captor, a fanatic who is making a bomb at the complex, intending to blow up ATF HQ in D.C. and avenge his son's death at Waco. Janet leads agents to the complex, but an explosion sends her to the hospital along with Lynn, who is pulled out of the rubble. The women flee the hospital, barely eluding Misty, a deadly female CIA assassin bent on grabbing Lynn in an attempt to settle an Agency score with Kreiss. The author exceeds his near-perfect Train Man with this ripped-from-the-headlines plot pitting a middle-aged Rambo with a small but deadly arsenal of spy gadgets against spine-chilling villains, corrupt Agency brass and powerful political forces. Deutermann never sounds a wrong note in this nonstop page-turner. (Mar. 19) Forecast: An excerpt from Hunting Season in the mass market edition of Train Man (St. Martin's, Mar.) will alert Deutermann's fans to the new book, while the novel's anti-government slant should satisfy their and other readers' seemingly insatiable appetite for tales of Washington corrupton. Expect vigorous sales; audio rights have been sold to Brilliance.
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