KILL CHAIN

After renouncing his past (but still haunted by the deaths in which he played a part), ex-terrorist Pascual Rose has made a concerted effort to live off the grid. But a six-word text message (“Come join us on the terrace”) shatters the nondescript life he lives in Barcelona as a freelance translator with his wife, a popular singer, and son. Two mysterious operatives make him an offer he cannot refuse. He is to lead the efforts in a clandestine operation “for the benefit of parties you may or may not sympathize with, but who pose no direct threat to anything or anyone you hold dear.” For his role in setting up holding companies in strategic locations around the world, he will be paid a million euros. Ironically, Rose’s anonymity is what makes him so valuable: “Pascual Rose disappeared before everything was put on the computer,” he is told. “That means we have a blank slate for creating a digital record of his activity for the last twenty or more years, starting with the irrefutable fact of his existence.” But despite implied threats to his family, Rose cannot just take their money and do the job. He uses his long dormant skills to try to stay one step ahead of his minders. It has been almost two decades since the last Rose thriller. It is not necessary to have read Martell’s previous three books to be swept up in this complex and cunning tale. The dialogue is not just recycled action clichés. When told that he will be traveling first class and will need to expand his wardrobe, Rose remarks, “It’s a costume drama, is it?” “It is. And you’ve got the lead role,” he is told. Less tech-savvy readers will not find the machinations of the operation too daunting. In Rose, they will discover an empathetic hero caught in a precarious struggle to do the right thing and make peace with his past.

KILL CHAIN
After renouncing his past (but still haunted by the deaths in which he played a part), ex-terrorist Pascual Rose has made a concerted effort to live off the grid. But a six-word text message (“Come join us on the terrace”) shatters the nondescript life he lives in Barcelona as a freelance translator with his wife, a popular singer, and son. Two mysterious operatives make him an offer he cannot refuse. He is to lead the efforts in a clandestine operation “for the benefit of parties you may or may not sympathize with, but who pose no direct threat to anything or anyone you hold dear.” For his role in setting up holding companies in strategic locations around the world, he will be paid a million euros. Ironically, Rose’s anonymity is what makes him so valuable: “Pascual Rose disappeared before everything was put on the computer,” he is told. “That means we have a blank slate for creating a digital record of his activity for the last twenty or more years, starting with the irrefutable fact of his existence.” But despite implied threats to his family, Rose cannot just take their money and do the job. He uses his long dormant skills to try to stay one step ahead of his minders. It has been almost two decades since the last Rose thriller. It is not necessary to have read Martell’s previous three books to be swept up in this complex and cunning tale. The dialogue is not just recycled action clichés. When told that he will be traveling first class and will need to expand his wardrobe, Rose remarks, “It’s a costume drama, is it?” “It is. And you’ve got the lead role,” he is told. Less tech-savvy readers will not find the machinations of the operation too daunting. In Rose, they will discover an empathetic hero caught in a precarious struggle to do the right thing and make peace with his past.