Absence of Rules: Joe McCoubrey
Michael Devon is more than a counter terrorism agent. At times when the mission calls for it he has to do away with his enemies in order to keep our country safe. But, when two terrorist cells decide to wreak havoc on Paris and London one trying to blow up the Eiffel Tower and the other Trafalgar Square, he stops at nothing to take these people down. Heading this operation is one man whose real goal is to use these attacks as diversions not wanting anyone to know his real objective.
Alan Doyle and Mason Hunter worked along side Mike Devon in a group known only to a select few. Trying to figure out who is behind the bombing at the Tower and then in London would take more than just manpower but two separate investigations collided into one as author Joe McCoubrey takes us along with Mike and his team and Alan and his into Paris and London to try to stop what has already been put in place. A photo of a blonde woman would trigger more Intel and the need to learn who she is was paramount.
Asif Changwant and Yousaf Hasni were brought up as youths in poverty. Each one assigned to take down what they call us “Great Satan.” One to deal with London and the other to concentrate on Paris. Gennady Asasenko is the man behind the mission whose goal and target is not to take down London and Paris, that is just a diversion to keep everyone from looking at the real target: The oil industry. This Russian Billionaire has his eyes on controlling oil prices and making the U.S. and everyone else at his mercy. Knowing how to crease palms, bribe and enjoying diplomatic status and a new title enabling him to move cash, get certain goods and transport them anywhere in the world. This is one dangerous man. The Borinov twins are his main aces in the hole as they did his dirty work, never questioned him and carried out all that needed to be done. The first stage of the plan has begun and the cells were activated fro him. Yousaf Hasni arrived in Paris to carry out the first mission and the smile on this man’s face would curdle fresh milk.
Claude Bartran was Mike’s boss and the job of telling him the bad news as a result of their mission went to the group leader. The agents discovered that when looking into the houses that they terrorists were supposed to be hiding in two were empty. Both groups disappeared. Explaining on page 89 how the second disappeared was so vividly described you would think you were right there with the terrorists. Bartran called a meeting with the Minstere of Interior where he briefed all of the ministers on the results A group of men placed under his authority from the Commandment des Operations Speciales was formed. Roadblocks, airports whole cities at a standstill and people walking on the streets were stopped and everyone was told to close their doors in order to restrict the movement of the 8 men that were at large. Gunfire started and chaos ensued as four gunmen came advanced and the body count was huge. The scene the Eiffel Tower and end result horrific but could they stop the tower from toppling since they could not stop what the terrorists started? No loyalties among the terrorists. The description on page 93 and 94 will make your skin crawl and bring chills down your spine.
Four heavily armed people encamped at the base of the Tower. What would their strategy be to stop what they intended? The energy is electric and the terrorist did not have time to process anything that happened as Bartran’s team was right on it and the remaining 3 had no idea about what happened to their leader. Survival of the fittest you might say! The end result was catastrophic and now Mike Devon had to complete his mission next. Mason Hunter and four other agents were part of his squad under the direction of General Sandford. Alan Doyle was in charge of the group with newcomer Alfie Cheadle and two others. His orders were to move in when ready and they did not have time to deal with rules, excuses or delays. As Mike and his team realized the end result and the utter desolation and destruction that took place he was not aware of the success of Doyle’s team.
One man was far from done and Sheik Abu-Nayyan was the next to pay a dear price for someone’s greed. The two brothers would take care of that and him. As the two brothers confronted the Sheik the last thing he felt was the six round burst. The author describes what the four terrorists did next and thinking that their mission would end in shockwaves sent around the world and through the world’s financial institutions hopefully crippling them and bring them down. Sacrificing their lives was small price to pay but if they think or thought that those behind the mission cared about them they need to think again. But, Gennady Anasenko was pleased with the end result in Paris and next his attention was to deal with the bankers, investors and politicians that all wanted a part of him or had a hand in his pockets.
Betrayals came high and Andres Fabron the owner of a bookstore would learn the gravity of his involvement and the hold that “ it gives the man on him,.” Another man plays an important role as Asif Changwani a hit man questions his role and the reasoning behind the mission as the men in the last cell do not show up and only one is left. Thinking he was being used was something he would not tolerate how to stay under the radar and disappear his first thought.
Within this story we meet Emma someone close to Michael who just wants a simple relationship with him but for some reason has no time. Chances escape, time limited when they can meet will it ever work out? Sylvia Flynn was a hit woman, dangerous and will consent to just about anything to get what she wants. Her wealth is unlimited, her apartment expensive and her assignments started to change when she asked to become more than a courier that brought and collected packages. Deadly, dangerous and working for Anasenko, she would rob banks or blow something or someone up if asked.
The pieces start to fall into place and one person learns just how far the team will go to stop her actions. Dealing with Mike was not what Sylvia Flynn expected and learning the definition of Absence of Rules enlightening. Just how far will he push and will he go to get what he wants and break her? Just how far with the other side go to teach Anasenko a lesson he will never forget? As the author brings to light for readers and Anasenko his infractions and his involvement in the recruitment of the two cells and the attacks on Paris and London, including trying to kill Sir Clive Oliver in order to capitalize on his goal to take over the dictate prices and control the oil industry plus kidnapping and torture, why wouldn’t his superiors act on it? Why was he even surprised? One man wants revenge for the death of his wife will he get it? An ending delivered with a huge punch, action, surprise and the true definition of justice you might say or revenge is enacted when the side that we hope wins places with the Absence of Rules. What’s next for Devon? What about the danger that this brought to those close to him? Will the author bring him back? A strong novel filled with crisp action, characters with distinct personalities and a plot that will keep you guessing until the very last …….is taken.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews