Act of Betrayal: Matt Dunn
Sometimes an intelligence officer has to break the law, think out of the box in order to get the job done. Will a Delta Force colonel named Haden to kill or assassinate a terrorist financier named Raeder in Berlin asked Cochrane. The players were told just enough information but not all. The scene was set and the mark in sight but something happens after Raeder is killed and disposed of by the four men chosen to deal with his body. Colonel Haden knew that Raeder was on money run namely one that involved five million dollars as the payout. So, what happened to the money and where is Haden? This was just the beginning of the sting and the setup that caused Cochrane to go deep undercover and hide from not only Haden but also the others involved. Unwin Fox is the CIA agent that brought him in and Kay Ash the deep cover agent who provided the intelligence about Raeder. Things are not what they seem and everyone is not who they say they are as the CIA agents who were involved in Berlin found that someone would take them out when the mission was over. Senator Charlie Sapper, Unwin Fox that provided Cochrane with the Intel about Raeder and Colonel Haden who orchestrated the kill but what happened to the money that Raeder had on this money run and who else was behind the scenes.
Unwin Fox reached out to Will just as someone put a dart or needled in the back of his leg with lethal poison but Fox gave him some information but died at Will’s merciful hands. Realizing he was framed for Berlin and even past murders that he did not commit, losing the two boys he wanted to care for and adopt while they stayed with their Aunt Faye since their parents were killed, Will was on a mission of more than revenge. One man knows the truth behind Berlin and someone higher up in the White House was pulling the strings but who was Deep Throat? Unwin Fox sourced the information about Otto Raeder that was good and legitimate intelligence. Fox was worried that it would be wrongly actioned or handed over to the Germans. The problem was Haden and why did he disappear and what happened to the money since Haden order him to take the shot and four men were on cleanup. Accused of multiple murders as a former spy who works deep underground he manages to take out the enemies and not get caught. Hessian Bell is his only ally except when the author introduces Michael Stein an Israeli former agent with Mossad who provides along with Bell the necessary man power and intelligence to find out who else was behind Haden’s disappearance and what role did Kane play in this elaborate plot.
Marsha Gage, FBI, Bo Hauptman and O’Connor seniors in the FBI and Pete Duggan the team leader on the FBI’s hostage team were not the primary agents going after Cochrane at any cost. Gage had the big of the agency and made sure that Duggan was part of her team along with Thyme Painter.
Kay Ash is CIA and Will seems to trust her with his life and more but why does she agree to put herself in more than harms way? What about him does she immediately identify with and why allow him into her life? Their first encounter is enlightening as both seem to know a great deal about the other and Kay surprisingly knows more than he expected. While Gage and her team were planning to take him down each one with their side arms in place yet some wanting more powerful weapons. Gage is determined and relentless in her pursuit of Cochrane and wants him eliminated no matter what or the cost. But, now that they know he’s alive she won’t stop until Will a former CIA/M16 operative is a person of the past but do not discount Will and anyone that goes against him well you can guess the end result.
Elizabeth Haden is cold, calculating and well guarded and seems to hover over her bee hive and wants Haden out of her life because she claims he’s cheated on her and whatever happens to him she could care less. Pretending to be afraid you can feel the coldness within her and the reader can tell she is shrewd and calculating but something tells you that there is much more and that she is hiding something.
Michael Stein is walking his ill dog Mr. Peres when Gage and her team take him down so to speak. Dealing with him and not learning a lot they are forced to let him not know that he’s in touch with Will and that Hessian Bell told will to trust Stein. While Gage and her team were moving around thinking that they had his location in sight Will added someone from his past, Antaeus and different kind of operative, Bell, Stein and Kay Ash to create a sting or takedown you just won’t believe.
Author Matt Dunn keeps your heart pumping, the adrenaline at full power as Will and his team go after Kane and the four men posing as detectives trying to find out more about Elizabeth Haden and even going after Tommy and his brother. When they are forced to move again the twins are distraught and scared just wanting a normal life and hoping Will would become their dad. But, when their house is invaded and Gage realizes she’s been duped again she won’t give up until the last man namely Will is down.
When the final pieces are in place Will decides to take down anyone in his wake and with the help of Kay the scene is tense and quite riveting as the author teaches law enforcement agents, writers and anyone wanting to create a credible take down scene as Flail one of the operatives on the clean up of Raeder finds himself face to face with Will and the end result you will have to see for yourself when you read it. Graphically depicted the next person in line might get the same fate or maybe not as Flail has a choice to make but what will his final fate be? Kane, Sapper, Elizabeth Haden who decided her own fate, Sapper and Unwin all players and all gone but who’s at the top has yet to be revealed? When Will figures out the truth about Berlin there is one more thing or mission he places himself on in order to have closure but not before he intentionally allows Gage to capture him. The court scene is original and the judge’s judgment you won’t see coming as the final statement is made and Will is given the verdict one that you won’t expect.
One more mission and one more person to come face to face with just who you won’t believe as the author throws a huge curve ball and twist at the end and the reader knows that there is much more to come. Flail wants revenge. Deep Throat just might create another team to go up against Will but this time or next time the stakes will be much higher as he might have more to lose. Conspiracy, lies, deceits, murder, hate, greed, power, family loyalties, friendships, freedom and hope all come into play as Will Cochrane faces his own realities and has to decide just who he really is and if he can become the person he wants to be or will he always be Edward Pope the bookseller who had to leave when someone realized his whereabouts or will he continue to cheat life and death. An ending left to your own imagination and an author who I hope pens the next one really fast as author Matt Dunn uses his real life experience as an M16 field officer who coordinated special operations, and acted in deep cover roles throughout the world. If I did not know better I would say that he modeled Will Cochrane after himself.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine