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by Jeffrey S. Stephens
Gallery, February 2013
448 pages
ISBN: 1451688725

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jordan Sandor, the hero of Jeffrey S. Stephens' “Targets of…” series, is never afraid. The same cannot be said for the readers of these action packed adventures. We are constantly in suspense as Sandor tempts fate by putting himself into seemingly fatal, no-win situations. We are afraid for him, even as we breathlessly watch him out-maneuver, out-shoot, out-think, out-talk and out-run his opponents. In the latest book, TARGETS OF REVENGE, Sandor again employs his amazing skills to survive and carry out his plans.

In the previous book, TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY, a criminal mastermind named Rafael Cabello, who goes under the name Adina, created chaos in the world, blowing up planes, destroying a communication center, and murdering many innocent people. He has also killed Sandor's friends, which motivates our hero, at the start of this latest book, to devise a plan to kill Adina. This plan is without official sanction and includes breaking all the rules. Playing it this way happens to be Sandor's modus operandi. He also does what he does in a joking manner, although the people he deals with, whether his superiors or his enemies, seldom laugh at his jokes.

When Sandor discovered that Adina was hiding out in the Venezuelan jungle, he devised a risky plan to kill the terrorist. He would go alone at night, and with the element of surprise on his side, take out Adina and his guards. When he arrives at the compound, however, he discovers an anthrax laboratory in one of the outbuildings. Sandor realizes that he must let his government know what he has found, but his presence has been detected by Adina's men, and he must make a harrowing escape.

Sandor eventually arrives back at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where a plan is set in motion to track down information and stop whatever attack is being planned. The anthrax is linked to shipments of cocaine, and the DEA becomes involved. Sandor must follow a trail of drugs and crime that sends him on an international chase that eventually ends up in New York City. Along the way, a drug dealer murders an innocent young woman who was inadvertently pulled into the action. Sandor is not one to forget such things, and he vows that justice will be done in the end.

Where is the anthrax and where will it be used? The deadly powder may be hitching a ride in a shipment of cocaine. Sandor must learn where it is going and who is involved with the smuggling. This takes him first to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where he mixes it up with an international drug kingpin. What he learns from this encounter leads him to Mexican drug traffickers, a Moscow meeting, Russian drug dealers in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and the suspicion that his operation is being compromised from within by a traitor.

This thriller is as suspenseful and exciting as the other books in this series. Some readers may be put off by the conservative philosophy espoused by the characters, but what they think of the government is quite irrelevant to the action. This is a fun book to read and one hopes that Stephens will continue with Jordan Sandor in the future.

§ Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, January 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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