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Sphere of Influence Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Length: 460 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

New York Times bestseller Mills (Burn Factor) returns with his fifth novel, featuring brilliant FBI tough guy Mark Beamon, who is investigating a terrorist threat linked to a global conspiracy. Killing time on a dead-end assignment while the Bureau plans his downfall, Beamon is thrown together with his former colleague Laura Vilechi when a videotape is delivered to the American media, indicating that Al Qaeda has smuggled a rocket launcher into the U.S. Their threat to use it against civilian targets has thrown the country into a panic, with people afraid to leave their homes. Meanwhile, Chet Michaels, one of Beamon's former trainees, now deep undercover in pursuit of a psychotic Mafioso, is nervously watching drug deals being made with shadowy Afghans. Looming behind all of this is a CIA deal with the devil (in the form of Christian Volkov, an international criminal mastermind), in which the U.S. government attempts to use organized crime figures as a proxy underworld army in the so-called war on terror. This thriller features real people and groups drawn from daily news headlines, playing on the anxieties of the American public-from the heroin trade to terrorism (and the connections between the two). But Mills avoids cynical exploitation, offering up human characters and a story that, despite some implausible subplots and heavy-handed editorializing, remains engrossing and affecting.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Reeled in from a dead-end job, outspoken FBI agent Mark Beamon is sent undercover to investigate a terrorist cell with access to modern missile technologyand promptly sees a fellow agent get murdered. From the author of The Burn Factor.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1185 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399149341
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (Sept. 2 2003)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #193,804 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rogue elements or individuals within America's governmental law enforcement agencies have always been a hallmark of many thriller and mystery novelists. For example, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy, just to name two, have often used rogue CIA operatives as part of their many novels and to great effect. In the past, the Cold War provided the backdrop for such operations. With the theoretical end of the Cold War, there was concern that like black and white movies, the times had passed such topics by. Now, in what is sure to be a flood of such novels, Muslim fanaticism and the global war on terror are replacing the Cold War as a fictional backdrop. Rogue elements in the CIA in fiction along with the occasional glimpses through Congressional hearings in real life makes this novel highly believable.
Somewhere in America, an Al-Queada terrorist cell has a rocket launcher and some missiles for it. With the death of Osama Bin Laden (treated as fact), Al-Queada has reconstituted itself under new leadership and become a smaller, more efficient terrorist organization. They have learned the ultimate lesson of the terrorist attacks-America was hurt much worse by the economic impact of such actions than by the casualty toll. The terrorists release videotape to the major networks detailing their threat to fire missiles somewhere in the United States. They promise to attack schools, shopping centers, etc. to make the point again that one is ever safe.
Panic grips the nation exacerbated by the twenty four hour seven day a week cable news coverage of the threat. Schools, business, shopping centers, etc. begin to close as the nation's commerce grinds to a halt. For Mark Beamon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Phoenix Office, the situation is doubly frustrating.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Tom Clancy quote on the back cover reads, "Kyle Mills is fast becoming the new master of gripping and intelligent page turners."
Gripping and intelligent is where the wheels start to come off on this book. The plot comes down to the threat of a rocket launcher and 3 or 4 missile s smuggled into the United States via Mexico and the vague threat that these might have biological or chemical warheads. This situation puts the public in a deep panic and the economy in a tailspin. Furthermore, the rockets and the launcher are held by separate terrorist cells, and have to come together so that they can launch a rocket with a 12 mile range at a civilian target.
I guess the threat isn't all that credible in my mind. Saddam proved you don't need a fancy launching platform to send SCUD missiles into Israel so why do these terrorist need one? The bad guys never pull off a strike - so why is there such a tremendous panic?
Secondly, the plot has a whole raft of interesting characters. You have Mark Beamon (Mills' burnt FBI agent), a Russian gangster, a CIA nincompoop, a New York wiseguy, and your stock-in-trade fanatical terrorist. There is a lot of potential here, maybe enough for a couple of books.
Thirdly, Beamon goes so far out on a legal limb that the ending defies belief.
With all that said, Mills is a talented writer. The dialogue and story moves along. I just think he needs to recognize the Mark Beamon character has run its course and move on. He has shown us that he can be brilliant, but I think he needs new material.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
So you think Bill Gates is the richest man in the world? Perhaps he's gathered the world's largest legitimate fortune, but how do we know that there are not shadowy underworld figures whose wealth makes the Gates' billions seem like small change?
FBI agent Mark Beamon believes in the existence of such people, and what's more thinks they are linked to the CIA, terrorist organisations, the Mafia and huge drug cartels. When a rocket launcher suddenly appears in the deserts of Arizona or Nevada, a young agent which the disgraced Beamon helped train is put on the case. To help her investigation, Beamon goes underground taking on a persona of a terrorist himself. About there things start to go wrong.
Another agent is killed, the Mafia man Beamon was working for is arrested, and the CIA is stirring trouble with the world's heroin suppliers, trying to distance themselves from the rocket launcher. Beamon then encounters the enigmatic Christian Volkov, perhaps the richest man in the world, perhaps not. To keep his cover, Beamon becomes manager of Volkov's heroin business. As events unfold, Beamon discovers Volkov has far superior intelligence sources than the combined US agencies, commands an enormous underground economy, and despite his criminal interests, is a highly cultured, well meaning person. He also finds the CIA has been hiding a lot of it's dealings from it's own government, and is not in control of heroin trafficking whatsoever.
The story throws up a number of moral dilemmas, like is a crime still a crime if it is committed to prevent a larger crime, or is the policy of "any means necessary" justifiable in conducting a nation's foreign affairs. The conclusion of the story is a little unexpected, but shows one possible solution to these dilemmas.
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