While making a 6-hour ride out of state last week, I read a really good international spy thriller -- The Last Operative by Jerry Jenkins. Of course, Jerry Jenkins is well known as a co-author of the Left Behind series, but he has written many other excellent books, including this one.
According to an author's note in the front of the book, this is a re-write of Jerry's first stand-alone novel, written over twenty years ago. Through a little on-line research, I found that it was the publisher who suggested this re-write, and Jenkins made several changes in technology, the enemy, and even the main character's last name to come up with this up-to-date story of intrigue and faith.
Jordan Kirkwood is an operative with the National Security Agency, thinking seriously about leaving behind the kind of life that has kept him on the go and away from his family for so many years. As he waits for his wife to join him in Europe for a long-deserved vacation, he receives information that draws him reluctantly into another case. By the end of the first chapter, he has suffered horrible personal tragedy and found himself caught up in something much bigger than he imagined. In fact, as is stated on the cover of the book, "The fate of America lies in the hands of one man," -- and Jordan Kirkwood is that one man.
The book is a real page-turner, with lots of twists and turns in plot and characters. Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, where will Jordan go, what disaster will strike next -- these questions and others have unpredictable answers that keep you wanting to read more. To the espionage, add in the elements of complicated family dynamics, romance, and struggles with faith, and you find an excellent read.
I am a huge fan of Jerry Jenkins! The Last Operative proved to be a page-turner, with twists and turns that were unexpected. What I found a bit difficult to follow was the sheer number of characters that were a mere flash before they were gone. The ending was abrupt and somewhat anti-climactic but otherwise an interesting read.