Andrew Britton is the surprise of the month and maybe the year.
British-born and American-raised Britton served in the Army as a
combat engineer and is presently pursuing a double major in
psychology and economics. At the tender age of 24, he has penned a
riveting and compelling debut novel.
THE AMERICAN introduces Ryan Kealey, who is retired from the
military and CIA when he receives the call he's been dreading.
Jason March, a former U.S. soldier and Kealey's one-time student,
is on an extended mission of terror against the United States.
March nurses a pathological hatred against the U.S. and all it
stands for. He is also an assassin of the highest order, being a
master of explosives, firearms and unarmed combat. He is, in short,
Kealey's mirror image. The last time they met, March came to within
a hairs breadth of killing Kealey. When March's presence reveals
itself in a dramatic and deadly fashion, Kealey is brought back
into the service of the CIA.
Teamed with the brilliant and beautiful Naomi Kharmi, Kealey finds
himself constantly a step behind March, who has aligned himself
with Middle Eastern terrorists whose goal is nothing less than the
destruction of western civilization in general and the United
States specifically. Britton follows both men on twin tracks as
their opposing goals slowly and inexorably head toward a collision.
Kealey attempts to balance the newfound peace of his personal life
with the horrors of his past and a job that must be done, while
March, being followed by Kealey, pursues a mission that is as
brilliant in its execution as it is terrifying. Both men, as the
book races toward its cataclysmic conclusion, shall find reason for
Britton writes with true authority --- there were times when I felt
as if I was a fly on March's shoulder watching the proceedings ---
and within the space of one novel demonstrates that he has the
chops to become a master of the thriller genre. And the ending of
THE AMERICAN? Whoa. More is coming. In the meantime, don't miss
this one. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 22, 2010