INVISIBLE, the third installment in Andrew Britton’s
brilliant Ryan Kealey series, is perfect winter reading. Pick this
one up when there’s snow on the ground, a killer wind chill
and you have the day off. You have nowhere to be anyway, so at
least you won’t feel guilty about staying put for several
hours as you read the latest novel in what is arguably the most
realistic thriller series going.
THE INVISIBLE begins with the sudden and violent kidnapping of a
group of U.S. tourists in Pakistan. The instigator of this deed is
Amari Saifi, a terrorist who has been on the U.S. most wanted list
for several years. The incident causes Jonathan Harper, the Deputy
Director of the CIA, to seek out and recruit Ryan Kealey for yet
another mission --- to rescue the hostages and neutralize Saifi.
Following the events chronicled in THE ASSASSIN, Kealey has been on
a world-beating walkabout and wants nothing to do with Harper (or
the CIA for that matter).
However, he is reluctantly drawn back in when Harper produces Naomi
Kharmai, the woman who Kealey has been trying to forget, even
though he can’t. The opportunity to work with her and be with
her again is too much for him to resist. But Kealey quickly comes
to realize that Kharmai, like himself, is badly damaged, to the
extent that her presence may jeopardize the mission.
Meanwhile, Saifi has upped the ante by making one of the boldest
moves ever perpetrated against the U.S. --- she kidnaps the U.S.
Secretary of State while on a diplomatic visit in Pakistan. Kealey
now has a new priority: rescue the Secretary of State by any means
necessary. Running a breathtaking gauntlet of violence and deceit,
Kealey and his team find themselves stumbling erratically along a
series of dead ends that results in a disastrous incident in Madrid
but that produces their first real lead to locating the Secretary.
Gambling everything on a last-ditch rescue, Kealey disobeys orders
yet again to carry out what may be his most dangerous mission of
Britton continues his marvelous ways, combining meticulous research
and an edge-of-the-seat narrative to make THE INVISIBLE, like his
previous works, an event. It seems as if no one writes a book with
a beginning or an ending like he does, and this latest thriller is
no exception. The conclusion leaves at least two major threads
unresolved for the future, and the reader will be anticipating
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011