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Jihad (Stephen Coonts' Deep Black, Book 5) Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 2007
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“Coonts knows how to write and build suspense...this is the mark of a natural storyteller.” ―The New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover
PENETRATED: DEEP BLACK PLANTS A BUG INSIDE AL QAEDA
The word's most effective anti-terrorist force has the tools to monitor every move the enemy makes. They've planted a listening device inside a terrorist's skull, and activated a video spy drone disguised as a bird. But knowing is only half the battle…
INFILTRATED: BREAKING INTO A GLOBAL TERRORIST NETWORK
Multi-lingual, nerves-of-steel agents Charlie Dean, Lia DeFrancesca, and Tommy Karr prowl the winding streets of Istanbul to the crowded airports of America to stop terrorists in their tracks. Hooked into a real-time, high-tech system, this army of three goes head-to-head with the most dangerous people in the world.
DETONATED: THE TIME TO COUNTER-ATTACK IS NOW!
Al Qaeda is launching a series of devastating attacks against the West―and the ultimate strike is aimed at the heart of the USA! In a war where both sides operate in deep disguise, Deep Black must fight a world where betrayal, trust, faith, and doubt collide….
"Coonts knows how to write and build suspense. . . a natural storyteller."
―The New York Times Book Review
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There's a high-tech spy group in the United States called Deep Black, and they end up pulling off jobs that are out of the ordinary. In this novel, they set up an "assassination attempt" of an Al Qaeda leader so that they can take him to a hospital for his injuries. While there, they implant a tracking and audio bug in his scalp so they can see where he goes and hear about the next terrorist attacks before they happen. The story revolves around trying to correlate his movements with other intel that they have, all in order to prevent a large attack to be carried out somewhere in the United States. What they don't count on is an internal rivalry within Al Qaeda that closes their best source of information before they know who all the plot players are. The story moves to an ending where it's a race to see if they can find the main operative before the attack is carried out.
There are apparently a few other Deep Black episodes prior to this book, and I think that's where my problem lies. I don't have the benefit of the prior character development, and there's literally none to be found here. All the players are thrust into the story right away, and I had no clue as to why they reacted and interacted as they did. Furthermore, they talked about a lot of the gadgetry as if it was common stuff. Perhaps if you've evolved with the series, but it's a little disconcerting if this is your first exposure to Deep Black. And at 438 pages for a paperback, I kept feeling as if we could have tightened up the story and gotten there a bit sooner.
This book probably falls somewhere between my "it's OK" and "I like it" range. If an earlier Deep Black novel ended up in my possession, I'd read it without hesitation. But I wouldn't go out of my way to look for them, nor would I buy a new one unless the older installments improved my outlook somewhat.