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Sandstorm    by Alan L. Lee order for
by Alan L. Lee
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

If asked to categorize Alan L. Lee's debut novel Sandstorm, I'd call it a spy procedural. It opens on the execution of a senior CIA analyst, Erica Janway - though she's clearly one of the good guys, Lee does a fine job of making the reader feel ambivalent about her assassin, an Israeli who perhaps followed orders once too often.

Janway's death alerts the woman she mentored, CIA agent Nora Mossa, to her personal danger and she goes into hiding. But first she seeks help in the Caribbean from the man she loved, doubted and lost long since, ex-CIA agent Alex Koves. He pulls another old friend into the action, Duncan Anderson and they head to Europe on the trail Janway's notes left for them. They find a link to Senator Bryce Lipton, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of a billionaire's club, the Global Watch Institute.

They take what they have learned about the 'Israelis running point on a major operation against Iran, involving as high ranking member of Congress and utilizing a black market arms dealer' to National Clandestine Service director George Champion, who gets personally involved. Duncan and Nora end up undercover in Tbilisi, Georgia before flying to a nuclear testing facility in Iran. There, Duncan helps to foil a convoluted plot and escapes the subsequent maelstrom by the skin of his teeth. And Nora finds closure for her friend's death.

Those who enjoy conspiracy theory based thrillers will appreciate Sandstorm, which has enough angst and action to hold a reader's interest. And I'm sure there will be further exploits for Alex Koves.

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