The Thin Black Line: Simon Gervais
Within this complex novel we meet many people whose lives are drastically changed by the events of one day. As the events unfold the strength and stamina of these people will change from emotionally charged and ready to handle the situations that are at hand to be left fragile, lacking both physical and emotional strength and finding themselves vulnerable, uncertain of their futures and insecure. Like a china cup that is delicate and so fragile that the slightest nick might send it flying into a million pieces or a piece of blown glass that needs to be placed in a permanent case, the delicate nature of some will more than crumble as the deal with The Thin Black Line. Within hours of starting their day two people’s lives would turn from hardy, durable and strong to shaky, feeble and unsteady. Two incidents occurring simultaneously one at a train station in Ottawa, Canada and one at the airport in the same city.
Mike and Lisa Powell not only will have to reconstruct their lives but their identities too. Within seconds of each other both are thrown into situations that will cost many lives, leave them both unstable in different ways and looking through guilty and accusing eyes before they come to grips with the realities of their lives. Seriously injured when taking her daughter and mother-in=law to the train station to meet her parents, greeting them and leaving her daughter with them to get the car, little does Lisa suspect that there are terrorists about to unleash gunfire that would result in the deaths of everyone she loves. With his mission in place and a friend working with him Mike tackles three terrorists who hoped to unfold a plan so heinous that the end result would be more than just loss of lives. But, finding out that these three were trying to board a plane to get into Canada was the first step but stopping them and the plan he devised not successful. Winding up in the hospital and not knowing the end result Lisa wakes up and thinks she has lost Mike too. A startling revelation comes about and when they are reunited and told the truth about what happened decisions have to be made, names have to be changed, their fates decided and they are asked to join a special covert and secret team that is privately funded and known only to the President of the United States and a small group of wealthy businessmen, to strike hard and find the terrorists who caused this carnage and those all over the world. But, both Lisa and Mike have to reconcile their thoughts, toss away their guilt and accusations before moving ahead.
Lisa and Mike find themselves having to fight terrorism with the aide of one man who enlists their skills. The IMSI team’s goal is to rid the world of terrorism but can they? Forcing them to change their names, having to go undercover but the world has been led to believe they are both dead. Having succumbed to their injuries from the bombings at the train station and airport both have been listed as dead in a simple article or obituary in the paper.
Zima Burnbaum was sent to assist Mike and his co-worker Paul during the initial attacks at the airport. Told that both Mike and Lisa are gone she is enlisted to do recon or Intel about a French Minister that is thought to have a connection to the oil industry, control over it and possibly be a link to what happened in Canada. Zima was hired to find out as much as possible by going undercover. But, there is much more as Mike and Lisa learn more about their new organization, the man running it and they have to decide whether they will risk it all to take down what has been set in motion. Is there a US traitor and what about the Sheik who is behind the attacks?
As Lisa has to come to grips with the loss of two children, her parents and Mike his mother, just why would they risk even more? Mike is a federal air Marshall and Lisa, a doctor and giving up their lives to save others is quite commendable. From Canada toe New York to France and Sierra Leone readers join Mike and Lisa and support teams to unravel what has been set in motion. Simon Gervais is in law enforcement and uses his hands on experience in weaponry and covert operations to create the scenes that drive the plot and keep it moving. Mike seems despondent and almost defeated when coming out of his coma. The Sheik Al-Assad seems to be immune to any retribution as he attempts to bring our economy down. But, if he is allowed unchallenged just what else does he have planned?
The evolves even more deeply as Mike is on a surveillance mission and spots someone familiar as Zima uses all of her strength to take down the tango she finds herself in a position where she needs help. As Mike comes to her aid she cannot believe that he’s alive. Leading them both to relate what their missions are, sharing information and the knowledge that she has several flash drives that would compromise someone high up in the Canadian government the death of a General and the suicide of his second in command the plot really thickens and more reasons for the Sheik’s revenge are revealed. As the author shares the back-story about the Sheik’s father and his family, the wrongful assassination, his mode of revenge and why which illuminates the reason why he wants to take down America’s economy or shall I quote “ hit them in their wallet.” Learning the relationship between the American on his team and his family we begin to understand how this traitor came to work so closely with the Sheik. But, even those working for him are not safe and one wrongful move could mean your life as one Major who decided to dapple in blood diamonds and not adhere to the contract he had with the Sheik just might find out what happens when the Sheik is crossed. But, the unforgiveable murders come to light as the director of the secret organization reveals their plans to try and find the American named Alexander Shamrock who is working closely with the Sheik and is related to the oil and gas industry in both countries. Lies, betrayals, traitorous acts, hate, revenge, forgiveness and the hope to regain some semblance of their lives many of the characters will do things and perform missions in order to safeguard our country’s safety and redeem themselves in their own eyes for failed missions.
Jonathan Sanchez followed up on his instinct and found all the documents that would hopefully draw the attacks to a close. The attempt on the oil refinery was followed by the assassination of the Canadian Minister. Then the information that Zima gleaned from the flash drives she got from General Claudel’s home. Then the pipeline schematics Mike sent from Sierra Leone and the intelligence the Sheik’s accountant provided when taken into custody led him to the conclusion that the next hit would be the Enbridge Terminal in Edmonton. This area or place was strategic and vital to the US and linked all the pieces together. With the resources of CSIS, DNI, CIA, FBI and IMSI units the coordination and cooperation were great and the end result explosive. Al-Nashwan thought he was home free as did Alexander Shamrock the link to the Sheik but when the Sheik realizes that his best friend might lead him to disaster the decision he made would change it all for everyone. Director Charles Mapother’s main concern was to protect lives but the mission comes first as the final body count would lead Mike and Lisa to realize just how fragile life is and losing some many might make them wonder about what they do. Deaths were covered up. Evidence not found and just where Ray Powell the Ambassador is you won’t know until the author pens the next Mike and Lisa Walton novel. Will they stop the Sheik? Will this war ever end? The technology described the weaponry used is quite fantastic as the author uses his personal experiences and shares them with readers as a former agent who was “tasked with guarding foreign heads of state visiting Canada.” Find out what happens when Mike, Lisa and the other agents and analysts walk a very Thin Black Line. Author Simon Gervais creates twists, intricate plot lines, characters that are strong, headstrong at times and will keep you on the printed page from start to finish. What happens when your whole life changes in a flash and you need to regroup? Find out how Mike and Lisa deal with losing it all and wanting their own brand of revenge. Who wins? Who loses? You the reader decides how thin that black line that they walked and are still walking and if it will continue to hold them up!
This book is definitely gets FIVE GOLDEN STARS!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews