"The Last Spymaster" by Gayle Lynds
Genre: Thriller: Espionage
Rating: 4 Water Towers
Once or twice a year our family heads out to one of the coastal beaches (one that allows dogs) south of Half Moon Bay. On the way back, we stop in a little strip mall in Half Moon Bay where there is a great little book store and our favorite Round Table Pizza restaurant. One day I was looking at books and picked up a hardcover version of “The Coil” by Gayle Lynds. To my surprise…it was signed! I asked the clerk if this was real. She said that it was and that Gayle Lynds had stopped by one day and signed some books. After wishing I was there the day she showed up, I purchased it and read it…great book. I had known about Gayle Lynds before this since I am a big Robert Ludlum fan and had read several of the “Covert One” series Lynds had co-written with Ludlum. I then I read a couple of her own books including “The Coil”. All of Gayle Lynds’ books are great reads and, happily, spot on with my favorite genre.
Needless to say, I am an admirer of Gayle Lynds, and in the true spies, killing, and murder tradition: “The Last Spymaster” rocks, even though it is a nightmare to sum up in one or two pages…
Ex-CIA Director Jay Tice, “The Last Spymaster”, was convicted of being a traitor. He has escaped from Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex (this is a real prison, you can Google it) in Allenwood, PA and is now on the run.
Elaine Cunningham is a CIA “hunter” (one of the best) on the outs with the CIA and on the verge of leaving either by quitting or by getting the boot.
Laurence Litchfield, the CIA’s Deputy Director of Operations (DDO), offers Elaine the task of hunting the traitor Tice down with the help of a super secret CIA group called “Whippet”. Elaine accepts the challenge.
Chasing Jay, Elaine finds herself being chased and almost killed by some unknown assailants, and Jay finds himself almost being “wiped” several times…as if someone knows his every move.
As the book unfolds, the reader is engaged in a complex story of terrorists, jealousy, and deceit.
Lynds interweaves stories about:
- A new, very powerful, terrorist organization (Majlis al-Sha’b) stealing state-of-the-art computers, software, and weaponry (for example, the “Stardust” computer that is the size of a grain of sand, and a very powerful information processing program being used by the CIA named “ForeTell” ) in their quest to inflict a level of terror never seen before.
- The death of Jay’s “son” born to his ex-East German spy lover (Raina) and how is job at a software company relates to the events unfolding in this book
- A personal vendetta against Jay by a man named Martin Ghranditti who is also materminding the theft of the equipment for the Majlis al-Sha’b.
- Finally, how Elaine, Jay, and Raina join forces to try to stop the shipment of the stolen high-tech equipment.
Along the way we learn about deceit in the highest levels of the CIA and in Jay’s own circle of ex-CIA colleagues.
“The Last Spymaster” is a very complex story ultimately weaving the multiple plot lines together like a beautiful Persian Carpet.
The end is very satisfying and very much in the style of Robert Ludlum. I absolutely love it.
Go here to learn more about Thrillers: www.internationalthrillerreaders.com an organization co-founded by Gayle Lynds.