Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Snow - Eric Van Lustbader

New York Times bestselling sensation Eric Van Lustbader created the legendary Nicholas Linnear of The Ninja and brought Jason Bourne into the twenty-first century. Now Lustbader brings us Jack McClure, a street-smart ATF agent who saved the president's daughter from a criminal mastermind. Jack is now a special advisor to President Edward Carson, and Carson's daughter refuses to let Jack out of her sight.
When an American senator, supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine, turns up dead on the island of Capri, the president asks McClure to find out how and why. Jack sets out from Moscow across Eastern Europe, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians. He takes on a personal mission along with his official one: protecting his two unlikely, unexpected, and incompatible companions--Annika, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli, the president's daughter.
Thrust into the midst of a global jigsaw puzzle, Jack uses his dyslexic mind to put together the pieces that others can't even see. As he struggles to keep both women safe and to unearth the answers he seeks, Jack learns just how far up the American and Russian political ladders corruption and treachery have reached. And though Jack's abilities are as good as it gets, there is much more to gain--and lose--on this journey than the truth about the senator. . . .

Title: Last Snow
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Politics
Publisher: Forge, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, LLC
My Rating: 5/5

This book was rife with action. It starts off with Edward Carson settling into his position as President. He is in meetings with Russia, and receives information that one of his Senators has been killed in Capri. The news comes as a surprise to him as the Senator wasn't even supposed to be in Capri, so he sends Jack McClure to find out why he was there, and why he was killed. Was it an accident, or was it intentional? Needless to say, Jack sets off on a race against time, and picks up a few stragglers along the way.
The plot was definitely complex, and I found that Van Lustbader used sleight of hand throughout the book. It was easy to see what the right hand was doing, but then out of left field some new dilemma or information was thrust on Jack. He then had to weigh all of the factors together, in the way only he can. The web of lies, and half-truths were so intricately wound throughout the story, that you didn't know whether certain people were allies or foes.
The character development for both Jack and Alli was unbelievably good as well. We delve more into the mystery behind the psychological repercussions of Alli's abduction, and we see the bond between her and Jack grow stronger.
I will say that there were a lot of new characters, almost too many. But, when he reached that point, once a character outlived his usefulness, he or she was gone. Van Lustbader had no problem killing off characters.
All in all, this book was an intense thriller, and it again is quite relevant to the times. It was engaging, and really well put together. As with First Daughter, every detail was used. At first, you may wonder how it all ties in, but believe me, it comes full circle. It was a phenomenal book, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller. In my opinion, it raises the bar for political thrillers. It was that well crafted.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received free of purchase in exchange for an honest review.

This book, as well as First Daughter, are both up for grabs in a giveaway that Anne (on behalf of Forge books) has graciously provided for. You can enter on the contest post.

1 comment:

Sonya said...

Grrr, The country is 'Ukraine'. Putting 'The' in front of it is not only wrong, but very insulting to Ukrainian people. Russia did that to wrongly imply Ukraine wasn't a country in its own right, which - of course - isn't true.

Ukraine has been free from Russia for nearly two decades, and it's well past time to use the correct name. On top of that the capital city is Kyiv, NOT Kiev as everybody still says.