A Gentleman's Game
Bantam, October, 2004.
Hardcover, 335 pages.
London's Underground is hit by a devastating terrorist attack when three young Muslim extremists explode firebombs in moving subway trains, killing 372 people. Tara Chase, Minder One of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligent Service (MI6), is ordered to assasinate Dr. Faud bin Abdullah al-Shimmari as retaliation. Tara successfully takes out the good doctor in a mosque, but then the op goes wrong and a Saudi prince is killed. Now Tara is on the run from her own government, which has disavowed her in light of the international furor the death caused. Now considered a rogue, Tara has one more chance to save her career and her life. But there are quite a few people who think Tara needs to be taken out, once and for all.
For most Westerners, it is still difficult to understand why al-Qaeda and its related groups want to kill westerners. Rucka takes readers deep into the world of islamic terrorism -- and it's terrifying. His portrait of William Leacock aka Sinan bin al-Baari, the young Englishman who becomes disenchanted with England and becomes a jihadist, is as fascinating as it is disturbing. Rucka also dissects the bureacracy of the spy business; the complicated interplay between politics and intelligence makes for interesting reading. (Who knew how much time an assassin had to spend filling out forms and following procedures?) Minders like Chase aren't even allowed to carry weapons on the streets of London, for example. Greg Rucka's graphic novel heroine easily makes the leap to prose in this intelligent, gripping, raw-edged thriller.
--Claire E. White
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This review was published in the November-December, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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