From Publishers Weekly
Grady's first thriller in a decade finds the author of Six Days of the Condor taking an altogether different look at the spook trade-the lives of CIA operatives who had to be institutionalized because they went crazy on the job. Five spies, all being held at an asylum in Maine, find themselves the likely victims of a frame-up when their psychiatrist is murdered in their therapy room. With remarkable ease, they escape their confines and embark on a week-long run for freedom and revenge that takes the so-called Mad Dogs-all off their meds-to the nation's capital to find out who killed their shrink and why. The adventure is narrated by Victor, the most intellectual of the bunch, who cracked up after a particularly harrowing experience on the job in Malaysia. Grady (White Flame) punctuates whipsaw bouts of action with dark humor and poignant glimpses into his characters' broken lives. Unfortunately, the Mad Dogs' search for the killer is interrupted all too often by zany, psycho-fueled episodes that sidetrack their mission and the reader's interest.
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His first novel (Six Days of the Condor
, 1974) may still be his best, but this one gets points for sheer weirdness. Five former CIA operatives, now living in a government-run, top-secret insane asylum in Maine, break out after their psychiatrist is murdered. Framed for murder and running for their lives, they make their way to Washington, D.C., and a man they hope holds the key to the mystery. But these are deeply unbalanced individuals, each of whom sees the world in his or her unique way. Can they--and, by extension, the reader--trust their perceptions? There are a couple of ways to read the novel: as a flat-out thriller or as an extended hallucination. Either reading works just fine. Grady does a remarkable job of crafting his characters and of creating their "mission," an infiltration of a strange and frightening world: the U.S. For these former heroes, passing as "normal" is their greatest challenge, and, ultimately, this is a story of emancipation, of breaking free from--or at least coming to terms with--their own troubled minds. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved