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Back Blast (Gray Man) Hardcover – February 16, 2016
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“I LOVE THE GRAY MAN.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
“BOURNE FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM.”—New York Times bestselling author James Rollins
Praise for Back Blast
“Mark Greaney reigns as one of the recognized masters of action and adventure. Back Blast is no exception.”—New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Steve Berry
“Fast-paced [and] tightly written...A great ride.”—New York Times bestselling author Larry Bond
“Takes the best of Clancy and Ludlum and mixes them into a fantastic story with an unforgettable character.”—James O. Born, author of Scent of Murder
“A blistering thriller that builds to a soaring and explosive climax. Fast, tough, enthralling, and the best so far in the amazing Gray Man series.”—Bestselling author David Bell
“Punches with bone-busting power…Flesh-and-blood priceless.”—New York Times bestselling author Stephen Templin
“Greaney is a master among the top thriller writers in the world...Intense, explosive, daring, funny, and ultimately just flat out awesome.”—New York Times bestselling author Ben Coes
“Greaney’s unraveling of the Back Blast mystery is masterly, but it’s the Gray Man’s ability to outthink and outgun...that will keep readers glued to the pages.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] high-energy thriller...Clancy fans will have a blast.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Mark Greaney has a degree in international relations and political science. In his research for the Gray Man novels, including Agent in Place, Gunmetal Gray, Back Blast, Dead Eye, Ballistic, On Target, and The Gray Man, he traveled to more than fifteen countries and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combative tactics. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tom Clancy Support and Defend, Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect, Tom Clancy Commander in Chief, and Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance. With Tom Clancy, he coauthored Locked On, Threat Vector, and Command Authority.
Top customer reviews
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In creating "The Gray Man" series, Mark Greaney gave readers of the espionage and political/military thriller genre something special. The magic ingredients, so to speak, in the Gray Man series aren't a hero name that you'd never hear outside of a fiction novel, or super-secret organizations run by either maniacal billionaires or heads of state bent on world domination. Or, even worse, the latest "Middle East terrorist have evil plot to destroy the world, kill the President, etc." The genre is completely polluted with this kind of "fiction", for all the wrong reasons. What makes the Gray Man special is that, to most people, he's just some guy with a somewhat complicated past, looking for answers. And, yet again, unlike most characters in the genre, he's not running from the Illuminati only to come back with some brilliant scheme at the end of the book and save the world. While he's certainly fighting to survive, Court Gentry is constantly running *toward* his enemies, sometimes with a plan, sometimes completely winging it. And the Gray Man doesn't always win. What he does do, however, is live to fight another day. And every day gets him closer to the truth.
Until the arrival of "Back Blast", the reader is generally kept in a state of suspense about who burned Court Gentry and why. This is trademark Greaney - he made us wait for 5.5 years and four books just to find out what happened in Kiev. And the payoff, so to speak, was totally worth it. In "Back Blast", all old scores are finally settled as Gentry finds out the truth about what happened to him. Was the wait worth 7 years and 5 novels? The answer is a resounding yes. And here's why:
All of Greaney's "Gray Man" novels, until now, have had a savage intensity and a writing style that is lean, sparse and to the point. "Back Blast" is, in a sense, much more complex than his other books. There is much more of an emotional quotient to the writing, rather than the raw, in your face action we're used to seeing from the Gray Man (though, without exception, there is plenty of action in Back Blast as well), and there is a longer story line with a much greater level of detail. The reader is also exposed to dimensions of Court Gentry that they haven't encountered before. For those who have read the first four books, we know that Court is something of an anti-hero. And as tough and menacing as the Gray Man is, "Back Blast" reveals a very human and very vulnerable side to Court Gentry, something perhaps not seen since "Ballistic", and something that Greaney clearly paid attention to in this book. It's an investment that pays off. Inevitably, as Court finds the answers he's been looking for, the reader gets to explore Court Gentry for what he ultimately is: a flawed human being, like the rest of us, but ultimately a good person who is ready to face his demons, just wants answers and will either get them or get killed in the process. The story unfolds at a pace all its own, and as the "a-ha" moment is finally revealed, the reader is left with a sense of satisfaction, and a clear promise of more to come.
Some of the characters in "Back Blast" will be familiar. Some characters are new, and their development ranges from superficial to deep and complex. Greaney has a knack for not only bringing back the right characters at the right time, but giving characters that previously held small supporting roles, so to speak, a much bigger casting in subsequent novels: their chance to shine in the spotlight and formulate subplots all their own. Most authors shy away from this, for a very simple reason: if done poorly, it ruins the book. Other than Lee Child's "Jack Reacher", Greaney is perhaps the only author in the genre who can interchange characters at will and not rely on heavy recycling for continuity. The magic of the Gray Man series is that the books can be read out of order, and "Back Blast" is no exception. You can pick up the book without having read the previous novels, and it's still incredibly enjoyable. And as the characters and subplots twist and turn, the whole thing "just works". The pace and action don't feel pushed, or artificial. You find yourself yearning to turn another page and at the same time want to go back to read a piece that stood out to make sure you didn't miss anything. As opposed to the previous books, there are multiple actors with multiple agendas, some that fully develop during this novel, and end one way or another, and some that set a tantalizing stage for the inevitable Gray Man book number six.
With Gray Man 1-4, Greaney introduced us to a character that is, in a sense, a wounded animal trying to survive through a series of heroic actions. In "Back Blast", the creature truly becomes cerebral, savvy, and tactical. The prey becomes the predator, and the hunters become the hunted. And in the end, perhaps the Gray Man finally gets the closure and vindication he's looking for. Or does he? You'll have to read the book to find out. As far as I'm concerned, this is the apex of Greaney's writing - a true 5 star novel that will be incredibly difficult to top.
Donald.). Fun and fast paced and a great story twist at the end. I thought I had it all figured out..(.SURPRISE!!) I think it is my favorite one in the series so far. If you have been following the Gray Man, this is a must read. I know one other reviewer who thought it was too long and could have been written 100 pages shorter, but I say, thank you to the editor for all that you allowed. I couldn't get enough of it! Go Gray Man...you poor, troubled, lonely (but dedicated) soul.
Five years ago Court Gentry (Gray Man) was betrayed in a CIA operation and set up for assassination by his own organization.
Court's nemesis is Denny Carmichael, who has become the CIA Director of the National Clandestine Service (formerly called Operations), the directorate that deploys action teams from its Special Activities Division (SAD). Carmichael is now the most powerful person in the Agency, and he goes all out to cover up his past duplicity by killing Court.
Desperate and unable to tap his own SAD people without giving away his secrets, Carmichael illegally engages foreign agents along with unknowing JSOC personnel to take out Gentry. This full-court press requires Court to bring all his skills to bear in trying to survive and put things right.
As always, Greaney's writing is flawless. His works have all had several intriguing, intertwined subplots and numerous characters; but this one has subtle reminders along the way to make it very easy to follow. And there's a searchable description of the main players.
Finally, this novel is not just a sequel but a fully stand-alone book.