The Last Operative [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jordan Kirkwood wants to go quietly into the sunset. His career as an NSA intelligence officer has taken a significant toll. His two adult children are little more than distant acquaintances. His wife has been patient and supportive, but he knows she has deserved better. That was part of the reason they were going to London. He wanted her to see Europe like a tourist. But that was before he was given intelligence information during the recent mission to Germany. The threat is grave?bigger than 9/11. And the risk ...

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The Last Operative

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Overview

Jordan Kirkwood wants to go quietly into the sunset. His career as an NSA intelligence officer has taken a significant toll. His two adult children are little more than distant acquaintances. His wife has been patient and supportive, but he knows she has deserved better. That was part of the reason they were going to London. He wanted her to see Europe like a tourist. But that was before he was given intelligence information during the recent mission to Germany. The threat is grave—bigger than 9/11. And the risk is compounded by the fact that someone inside the NSA is involved. The most hidden place in Kirkwood’s past will have to be unmasked in order to meet the challenges of this mission. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414338200
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: 1
  • Sales rank: 516,005
  • File size: 514 KB

Meet the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins, former vice president for publishing at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago and currently chairman of the board of trustees, is the author of more than 175 books, including the best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times Best Sellers List (seven in the number-one spot) and have also appeared on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Desecration, book nine in the Left Behind series, was the best-selling book in the world in 2001. His books have sold nearly 70 million copies. Also the former editor of Moody magazine, his writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, Christianity Today and dozens of other periodicals. He was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 2004.His nonfiction books include as-told-to biographies with Hank Aaron, Bill Gaither, Orel Hershiser, Luis Palau, Joe Gibbs, Walter Payton, and Nolan Ryan among many others. The Hershiser and Ryan books reached the New York Times Best Sellers List. Jenkins assisted Dr. Billy Graham with his autobiography, Just As I Am, also a New York Times best seller. Jerry spent 13 months working with Dr. Graham, which he considers the privilege of a lifetime. Jerry owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Los Angeles, which produced the critically acclaimed movie Midnight Clear, based on his book of the same name. See Jenkins-Entertainment.com.Jerry Jenkins also owns the Christian Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrow's professional Christian writers. Under Jerry's leadership, the guild has expanded to include college-credit courses, a critique service, literary registration services, and writing contests, as well as an annual conference. See ChristianWritersGuild.com.As a marriage-and-family author, Jerry has been a frequent guest on Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program and is a sought-after speaker and humorist. See AmbassadorSpeakers.com.Jerry has been awarded four honorary doctorates. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown sons and six grandchildren.Check out Jerry's blog at jerryjenkins.blogspot.com.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 23, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Kalamazoo, MI

Read an Excerpt

The Last Operative


By Jerry B. Jenkins

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Jerry B. Jenkins
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-0920-0


Chapter One

Jordan Kirkwood couldn't push the ghastly secret from his mind. Nothing in more than twenty years as an international operative for the National Security Agency had prepared him for this. What would he tell his wife, due to arrive soon from the States? Nothing. How could he? He could tell no one yet, even inside the NSA.

Heathrow didn't slow to a crawl late at night the way the world's other least-favorite airport (Chicago O'Hare) did. Though the evening peak was past, several inter national flights were scheduled to arrive around the same time, and crowds were beginning to build again.

Closed-circuit monitors told Jordan that Rosemary's flight would arrive at midnight in Terminal Two, which surprised him. Terminal Two was limited almost entirely to European traffic. One of his decoy flights from Frankfurt had arrived there.

Rosemary had been extraordinarily patient for two decades, given that Jordan had been largely an absentee husband and father. Why did this have to arise on the cusp of an overdue vacation? He had promised to set work aside for ten late-October days.

Jordan could hardly believe he had borne such awful news for just more than twenty-four hours. It seemed a career ago. That assignment in Frankfurt-though it had called for a disguise-consisted of mere information gathering. A walk in the park.

But, oh, the information that came later.

Jordan should have suspected something. Why would the NSA take a senior operative out of Washington just days before his vacation and assign him an essentially menial task in Germany? When the assignment was over and he had asked an executive assistant at Joint Operations Support Activity Frankfurt (JOSAF) to book his flight to London, she had stalled. "Chief Stuart would like to see you first, sir."

"Stu's here?"

Stanley Stuart was a jowly man Jordan hadn't seen in more than fifteen years. They bear-hugged, but there was no small talk, no bringing Jordan up to date. Stuart clearly had something on his mind.

"Sorry to bring you all the way over here on a trivial assignment, but the man I trust most in the agency once told me you were honest to a fault."

Jordan shrugged. His Midwestern upbringing-including a whipping for lying at age eight-contributed to an overdeveloped conscience.

Stuart scowled. "True or not, Kirkwood? Chuck Wallington told me you wouldn't so much as tell a white lie outside the line of duty."

Jordan cocked his head. "It's true, sir." He was sure he didn't want to know-just before his vacation-where this was leading.

"Jordan, I'm sixty-six years old. I retire this year."

"I hope you're not looking for a successor, because I-"

Stuart glared. "C'mon, you know we don't pick our own replacements. And I certainly wouldn't wish this job on anyone, least of all you. I just need to know: can I trust you?"

Was Jordan still idealistic? No. Did he still serve his country for the same reasons as when he started? No. Had he become cynical? Sure. But had his integrity been compromised?

"I'm as jaded as anyone who's been in this business this long, but if I was worthy of that comment from Chuck years ago, it still holds."

The older man seemed to study him, then leaned forward and spoke in a whisper. "You know Altstadt, Jordan?"

"Old Town? Sure. Bordering the river."

Stuart nodded. "In the medieval section with the craftsmen's shops is one called Jurgen Glaswerks. Meet me there tonight at eight."

Now in London, eager to rendezvous with Rosemary, Jordan wished he'd told Stanley Stuart he was not a candidate for whatever the man wanted to tell him. Now it all lay on his shoulders, and he'd had to come to the airport in disguise: dyed hair, hat, glasses over dark contact lenses, phony name, documents, the whole bit. He even carried a wooden pistol that had slipped through the security scan. Tonight, as in Germany the day before, Jordan was P. Gaston Blanc, a Frenchman.

On his way to Terminal Two, Jordan noticed a Scotland Yard antiterrorist commander he'd worked with three years before on an al-Qaeda plot. He and Huck Williamsby knew each other well. To test himself, he stepped up to the freckly, red-haired detective.

"S'il vous plaît, why would American flight arrive in Terminal Two?"

"Security, I suspect. Wouldn't make too much of it."

"Merci."

Williamsby had manifested not the slightest suspicion. Jordan felt a tingle at the base of his spine. There were days when he enjoyed doing his job well. But not tonight. Maybe never again. Not since Frankfurt.

Finding the Jurgen Glaswerks the night before had been easy. Jordan was greeted in broken English by the owner, who thrust out his hand. "Jurgen Hasse! You are welcome, Mr. Blanc."

With barely a moment to notice the beautiful blown-glass objects gracing the shelves, Jordan followed Herr Hasse to the back. There his host left him with Stanley Stuart. Stuart sat stiffly with his hands deep in his pockets, hat still on. The room was cold, despite a few remaining glowing coals from the central furnace, where the craftsmen plied their trade by day. Jordan kept his coat on too, hat in his hands.

Stuart nodded toward the departing Hasse. "An old, trusted friend. I wish he had your gifts. Okay, listen. The place is not bugged. Hasse has never seen or heard of either of us." He rose wearily and dragged a heavy, wood chair next to Jordan's. "Wife died four years back."

"I heard. Sorry."

Stuart waved. "Lost the drive after that. Never gave her enough time. Never loved her as much as the agency, she always said. But when she was gone, I knew I'd been showing off for her all those years. The change in my performance showed, Jordan, and quick. I was reassigned here so fast, it took me two years to get over the jet lag."

At least Rosemary had never leveled such a charge at Jordan. She had, however, challenged him about letting her raise the kids, in essence alone.

"I lost track of you, Stu. Didn't even know you were here."

The older man stared deep into Jordan's eyes, as if searching for whether he was doing the right thing. His voice came thick. "I can't even tell Chuck this, Jordan. And there's no one else I trust."

"Why can't you tell Chuck, Stu? You know you can trust him."

"He trusts you. That'll have to be good enough for me."

"But it's not. I can tell. Why don't you tell Chuck and let him bring me into it if he wants?" Jordan knew the JOSAF chief had brought him to Germany for this conversation alone. "It's not that I'm not willing."

Stuart glowered. "Wallington is no longer in a position to do any good. And this is big, Jordan, bigger than anything I've been involved with. Ever. I've been offered money."

"From whom? For what?"

Stuart leaned and looked to the front of the shop, then over his shoulder to the dark alley. He pulled from his breast pocket a fat manila envelope folded vertically and carefully pressed it flat against his thigh.

From it he produced three eight-by-ten photographs. The first showed a rolling hillside with a huge dark opening cut into one end. Stuart pointed with his thumb. "That's maybe two hundred feet across."

The second showed two corrugated metal doors recessed beneath the earthen overhang of the hill, set in about thirty feet.

"What's that look like to you, Jordan?"

"A Quonset hut."

"Bigger. Remember the relative size of all this."

"A hangar."

"Exactly."

The third photo had been taken inside the hangar. Jordan pursed his lips. "MiGs?"

Stuart nodded.

Jordan held the photograph up to the dim light. "Russian MiG-23s, but no markings. I don't get it."

Stuart reached for the picture and placed it gently atop the others, as if he had been perusing family photos.

"Pure white. The naked eye can hardly find them in the sky on a clear day. And this shows only a handful. Actually, there are nearly two dozen in that one double hangar built into the hillside."

"Cuba?"

"Don't get ahead of me."

"Sorry."

"It's just that now that I've shown you these, I have to tell you, and you have to believe me. I'm not a crazy old man, though you'll be tempted to think so. Your job, your life, will never be the same."

It had been too late to opt out. And now Jordan owned the information as he found himself among the first at the thick, Plexiglas window that separated the waiting from the arriving at Heathrow's Terminal Two. The customs desks had been hastily assembled, as if the arrival here was a late change. The glass partition, however, was permanent.

As midnight neared, Jordan felt the heat of the murmuring crowd stacked several deep behind him. The long line of more than four hundred that began emerging from the Boeing 747 was being divided into rows, and the tedious customs process began.

Jordan felt a nagging in the pit of his stomach. Was it only coincidence that he had run into Williamsby, that the overseas flight was arriving at Terminal Two, and that the customs officers had apparently been instructed to search all hand luggage?

The process would take more than an hour, and it simply wasn't standard. As he watched for Rosemary, he steeled himself against giving anything away. He would have to explain the disguise, of course, and she would be disappointed. But he couldn't tell her the truth, regardless of how much he wanted to. He wished he could tell her the whole story, how Stan Stuart looked when he slowly rose and paced that cold room.

The last ember had died, and the only light came from a couple of weak bulbs. "The hangar is not in Cuba, Jordan, though the planes came from there, yes. Actually, they came from Russia first, of course."

Jordan squinted at him. "Stu, we both know Russia is no longer our enemy. We've known of Russian MiGs in Cuba for years. If we found these in Iraq or Iran-"

Stuart held up a hand. "These are not in Cuba, and I didn't say I thought the Russians knew where they'd wind up when they sold them or traded them. This hangar is set back into the earth, invisible from the sky, but it lies in the middle of four other hangars that hold crop-dusting planes. Radar or aerial photography merely confirms the existence of crop dusters and a landing strip in the middle of thousands of acres of farm country."

Jordan was afraid to ask where.

Stuart continued. "You're aware, of course, of the radar gap along the southern border of the U.S."

Jordan nodded. "Biggest headache is drug traffic."

"Until now. These MiGs were shipped from Cuba to Central America, trucked north into Mexico, and then flown-get this, flown-into the United States, either between El Paso and Laredo, Texas, or through the Yucatán Channel via the Gulf of Mexico."

Jordan felt the blood drain from his face. "You're telling me Russian MiGs are hangared in the States?"

"Alabama."

After about twenty minutes, Rosemary appeared in the line about forty feet away and directly in front of Jordan.

Her queue moved particularly slowly, but she appeared in good spirits, youthful and radiant. Jordan more than ever regretted the necessity of his charade. If only he could pop out the lenses and take off the hat and wave at Rosemary, smiling in a way she would recognize.

But she had apparently already studied the crowd behind the glass and decided he wasn't there yet. She struck up a conversation with the passenger behind her, a well-dressed man of average height and blond hair. Jordan watched as they seemed to notice the lightning from the north windows. The man's eyes widened, and she laughed. From her huge shoulder bag, Rosemary dug out a pair of rubber boots and her cell phone.

The man extended his hand to help her balance on one foot as she put them on. Then she studied the crowd behind the glass again, speaking to the man. Jordan assumed she was talking about him.

Opening lines ran through his mind as he fixed his eyes on her. If she recognized him before he spoke, good for her. But as her line slowly advanced, Rosemary looked at him, behind him, next to him, and at him again. He made no attempt to hide or look away. She looked through him as if he weren't there.

As excited as Jordan was to welcome the love of his life to London, the previous night's conversation reverberated in his mind.

Jordan had stood in the Glaswerks. "I don't believe it."

"You'll believe it if they launch a nuclear attack from within our own borders."

"These are warhead equipped?"

"That's the next step."

"How did you get this, Stu? Who else knows?"

"The one who wants to pay me to help him mislead the agency and to let him know if anyone outside his circle catches wind of this."

"Who?"

"Jordan! If I knew that, I wouldn't be talking to you. But the source is highly placed at headquarters."

"Our headquarters? How do you know that?"

"How long have I been around? I can tell from what he knows."

"Is he al-Qaeda counterintelligence?"

"Nah. He's new to them, I'm sure. In it for the dough."

"And how does he contact you?"

"Through a local mouthpiece. I've been sitting on this, Jordan, trying to decide whom to tell."

"Stu! This can't wait!"

"You think I don't know that? Who was I supposed to tell? I could go to the top, but what if it's him?"

"Don't be silly."

"Silly! Whoever this is knows all about me, Jordan. Things no one but an insider would know. I had to tell somebody who can check it out before making any moves. I'm not sure Chuck can do that anymore."

"So, your deal is what?"

"If I help, big dollars. If I don't, I'm dead."

Jordan closed his eyes. "You've been threatened before, Stu. We all have."

"The message goes like this: I've got what, fifteen, twenty more years on this earth? So what's it matter who's making threats or carrying out attacks if I'm taken care of, and handsomely?"

"Like you'd be for sale."

"It makes me sick, Jordan, and don't even imply otherwise."

"But why you?"

"Why not me? This guy says he knows I have to hate the agency for reassigning me after my wife's death. I don't, but if that's what he wants to think ... I'm just glad he started with me instead of somebody who might have been tempted."

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm doing it, Jordan. I'm telling you. Somebody big is helping al-Qaeda put planes in our backyard. And if I forget that at least one of our own people is involved and just send the Defense Department in shooting, how do I know that won't make things worse? We could be talking World War III here."

Rosemary looked troubled that she had been unable to spot Jordan, so he pulled out his cell and called her.

"Hey, babe, I'm here but in disguise. Tell you why later."

"Oh, Jordan!"

"Sorry."

"Listen, my seatmate reminded me so much of you. He and his wife live in-"

Suddenly, from just above Jordan's head and to his right came rapid-fire explosions that drove everyone to the floor. Even as he went down, Jordan's trained ear told him that the weapon tearing into the Plexiglas-weakening it, cracking it, shattering it, then cutting down the passengers as they scattered, screaming-was an American-made M16.

Jordan turned to get a look at the gunman. But a thick, middle-aged woman had tumbled onto his legs and an infant had been dropped on his back. As the others behind the now-fragmented glass moaned and wailed and hid their faces, Jordan knew the attacker was long gone. He drew himself up to his knees, carefully reaching back to set the baby on the floor.

Jordan studied the damage. The M16 carried a thirty-shot magazine the shooter had apparently spent in a single burst of nearly two and a half seconds. The first dozen shots had obliterated the Plexiglas except for a three-foot mountain-shaped shard that could now be pushed over with a finger.

Once the glass barrier had been eliminated, the next twenty or so rounds had been sprayed over a fifteen-foot area, leveling customs agents, disintegrating their wood partitions, and dropping passengers forty feet away with 5.56-millimeter ammunition that had kill power from five hundred yards.

Uniformed police and military personnel appeared from all directions, shouting instructions, securing doors and corridors. Plainclothesmen, including Huck Williamsby, arrived seconds later, producing badges and displaying them from breast pockets.

Passengers who had miraculously survived huddled behind their baggage, plainly terrified of the weapons they saw in several hands. Directly in front of Jordan, a customs agent bled from the head and neck. He crawled toward Jordan, expressionless, eyes vacant, but his nervous system soon surrendered, his elbows quit, and his forehead thudded on the floor. Beyond him and his splintered workstation, Jordan saw the central target of the shooting, the line in which his wife had been standing, bantering with a stranger who had the misfortune to look like her husband.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins Copyright © 2010 by Jerry B. Jenkins. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    Christian spy novel

    I have always loved spy novels. The suspense, the adventure, the danger, and stakes that involve the survival of civilization make them exciting reads. This novel by the Left Behind Series author has all that and more. This operative is a Christian. And that changes the dynamics in a good way. Jordan Kirkwood is not as close to God as he once was. He loves his wife and adult children but knows he has not given them the time they deserve because of his job as a NSA operative. He also knows he's allowed his job to affect his relationship with God and caused him to become cynical. But everything is about to be challenged in a new way when he discovers a plot by terrorists that will make 9/11 look tame in comparison. And someone in the NSA is involved. While he tries to make amends with his family and sort out mistakes of his past, he must contend with the greatest threat he has ever faced as an NSA operative. But he doesn't know who he can trust. I highly recommend this novel. I hope there's a sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2013

    Jenkins Delivers!

    As I understand it, this is one of Jerry Jenkins first novels. I've read some of his newer ones and, true to his style, he does not disappoint with this book either. Definitely worth the read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    Recommended

    Vary good. Excellent read

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Didn't care for this book. Would not recommend.

    Not enough suspense. He had not even buried his wife when he began to think of his first love. Then the author brings in his first love that he says he never stopped loving. He then finds out he has a daughter he never knew he had with his first love. I didnt know this book would have so much of this. Would not recommend to anyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    The Last Operative By Jerry B Jenkins

    Jordan Kirkwood is a NSA operative whose life is upended and challenged when his wife is murdered in an attempt to stop Jordan from uncovering a terrorist attack on the US. The storyline of The Last Operative by Jerry B Jenkins moves seamlessly through all the exciting twists and turns as it reaches the dramatic conclusion and then on to tie up those loose ends every reader wants the answers to before closing the book.
    The story was intriguing and an enjoyable read but I must say I was disappointed at its conclusion. It took me a few days of ruminating over the storyline. (Yes, I think about the plot of books for awhile after I read them just like I do with a good movie.) That's when I came to the conclusion that what I was disappointed in was the life reaction. I know the main character is more James Bond then Every Man, still I felt some of his reactions were not realistic enough. A few of the secondary characters especially his daughter could have been more distraught over the family drama that was taking place while her father saved the world. From a woman's perspective I need that emotional conneccdtion, the grief, the be more satisfying.
    That said I would admit that the details of how organizations like NSA and their operatives work was fascinating and the mystery compelling. I hope Jordan Kirkwood has another adventures for us to follow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Action, Adventure, Suspense

    I'm thankful to have received a review copy of The Last Operative, by Jerry Jenkins. He creates a story with a 007 type character that is faithful to his wife and family. Even though he's away on missions and he doesn't see his family much, he's thankful to his wife for holding it all together while he's away. He's passionate about his family and will lay down his life for them.

    Jordan Kirkwood, NSA intelligence operative is finally going to make his wife's dream come true. She's wanted to see Europe as tourists-Problem: he's just found out a secret that could end life as he and everyone else knows it. Who can he trust? What can he do? "Jordan was tempted to break his cover, to assure the authorities that all the bullets had come from the same weapon! But he knew this would be determined soon enough by ballistics." He could be compromised if he reveals this secret, but the situation will put the country on high alert-his life could unravel fast and furious if he does what he's thinking about doing! What about his wife and kids? Everything he holds dear could change in the blink of an eye.

    Unbelievable things happen to Jordan in his quest for answers. He even begins to question his faith in God and his own instincts become shaky. His life was turning upside down and inside out. Would he risk it all to find out what was really going on?

    Jordan's career has taken a toll on his family, because he hadn't realized the stakes were so high until he learned of this secret. "Facing the ugliest side of himself. There's no making up for lost time, is there? I've just royally screwed up my relationships with my kids."

    This book has it all - action, adventure, espionage, romance - and so much more. Jerry Jenkins creates likeable characters on top secret missions that will have you up late to see what happens next. Jerry Jenkins says that this is a stand alone book he re-wrote for modern readers, but in my opinion, he did leave it open for a sequel. I'm just saying! Grin!

    Nora St. Laurent
    The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
    Finding Hope Through Fiction
    www.psalm516.blogpsot.com

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    The Last Operative Book Review by Barbara J. Robinson

    The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins is 23 chapters and 371 pages of riveting suspense published by Tyndale, copyright 2010 in hardcover. Jordan Kirkwood's top-notch career as an NSA intelligence operative cost him quality family time causing a rift between him and son until it cost him his wife's life. His daughter is more understanding, but will his son ever forgive him, so hearts can mend, and they can enjoy their time left together? He helplessly watches as he losses the love of his life, his wife, just when she was meeting him for some well-deserved quality time, and he faces a retirement decision. But, as much as he would like to just quit the job that has cost him his family in more ways than one, a larger threat rears its ugly head. He has two grown children and a country to protect, so he's not able to call it quits just yet.

    A threat worse than 9/11 and someone at a top level in the NSA might be to blame. On his most dangerous mission, Jordan's deepest secret is revealed and his past confronts him head on, a secret he, himself, knew nothing about. The fate of his country hangs in the balance as he fights to discover who he can trust and depend upon, and his own life is at stake. The risks are high for homeland and family. He wants to be sure his son and daughter are protected and do not follow the same fate as his wife. He loses a best friend. His family home, where he raised his children, is blown to bits, and his uncle takes him in, only to have his own home bombed.

    An old love returns during the worse time of his life with a surprise from the past. The book ends like a serial, so I hope we find out what happens to Jordan, Cydya--his former love, and Katrina--someone from the past, as well as his two grown children, Christa and Ken. But, the book is a retelling of his first standalone novel. I felt the ending was too abrupt unless he plans a serial, since it left me with a hunger for more. And, I think it has potential for a great serial. His readers will want to know what happens to these characters as a family, perhaps a family saga. When a reader becomes involved with the characters, they can't help but want to know what happens to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    high five's from a reviewer

    "Rosemary and Uncle Dex had been the only people outside the NSA who even knew the name of the agency for which Jordan worked. And not even Rosemary (Jordan's wife) knew precisely what he did, except that he used disguises. She had never known about Cydya either. Dex Lee had." (p. 168)

    This spy thriller has a strong main character-Jordan Kirkwood, an intelligence operative. I was riveted by the dynamics of his life: having to constantly keep his head together when one wrong move or misjudgment could be fatal while, at the same time, regrets, conflicts, and secrets churned relentlessly in his soul. His job demanded he trust no one, which ultimately took a toll on his family and his faith in God. His real-life struggles are deep and honest, drawing in the reader.

    Jenkins used his imagination and did his research to make this a plausible scenario in our post 9/11 world. The page-turner chapter endings and startling twists made me want to jump to the last page more than once, but I resisted. Instead, I let the story take me there and I am glad I waited. Men and women readers will enjoy the action and mystery, relationships and love.

    From a writer's point of view, the book has strong narrative. The characters are recognizable without having to say "Jordan said." The narrative makes it an easy read and one that the author "shows" not "tells". Rather than Jenkins telling the story, he moves out of the way to let the characters develop the plot themselves. This is such a well-written book that it should be used as a model in Jenkins' Writer's Guild courses.

    My only criticism is that it ended rather abruptly - the climactic threat to the world was resolved quickly and with little detail. The loose ends in the personal relationships were tied together in a way that lent itself to a "they lived happily ever after" end. I closed the book wanting more, which is good if a sequel is in the works.

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    The Last Operative

    The Last Operative

    By Jerry B. Jenkins

    This book was about a man, Jordan Kirkwood, who works as an undercover operative with the NSA. He has been kept away from his family his whole career because of his job. When he finally gets the opportunity to take a break and go on a vacation with his wife, something terrible happens. I'll let you read it and find out what happens. In the aftermath, Jordan finds out that there are fighter planes hiding out in a bunker in the U.S. Problem is, they aren't American planes. They belong to an Islam extremist group. And someone within the NSA is somehow involved. So the book is about Jordan trying to figure out who he can trust, trying to stop these planes from being unleashed on U.S. soil, all while trying to repair his relationship with his basically estranged children.

    The plot itself was a good plot. It is similar to a Clancy-Grisham-Cussler political thriller type novel. One thing I did like about it is that you can tell it was written by a Christian. In the book, Jordan and several other characters are professed Christians. Jordan turns to his faith when dealing with the tragedy that he experiences. It is a topic that is brought up frequently in the dialogues. Because of this, there is no language or explicit or suggestive content. Which is more than I can say for the Clancy-Grisham-Cussler that I've read.

    One thing I didn't like was that parts of the plot were not as developed as they should have been. You never find out the details about what happened or why it happened or who was involved how. Another thing was that the climax of the book wasn't very climactic. Like, they're in the middle of a stand-off with 4 bad guys against 2 good guys. Then, you turn the page and the bad guys have surrendered their weapons. What just happened? I remember turning back to make sure I hadn't skipped a page. In other books I've read, the main fight scene, which in real time lasts about 10 minutes, is drawn out over like, 50 pages. This one happened in like, 2. I felt a little gipped (sp?) Also, at the very end, you think that another plot line is about to start up in like, the last 50 pages. The plot line had the potential to be good, but it was at the very end and so it just kinda fizzled out into nothing. I thought it was pointless to even go there. If the author was just looking to fill pages, he could have developed the main plot a lot more. Then he could have taken that second plot and done a sequel.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    Left me on the edge of my seat!

    I was kind of leery about opening the cover of the novel "The Last Operative" by Jerry Jenkins. I am not your typical fan of any kind of spy type or mystery story or even movie for that matter. But I figured that I would give it a chance, after all the author is Jerry Jenkins, surely he would not disappoint!

    Soon after I read the first chapter of this book, I found myself wrapped up in traveling the world with character Jordan Kirkwood on a mission to save his country, while he healed the deep pain within his own heart. Jerry Jenkins did a splendid job on keeping me on the edge of my seat as to the mystery of who Jordan could trust ultimately with his life, and the life of his family.

    This is a fabulous summer read. I highly recommend this book as a sit out on your front porch kick back and relax kind of novel. I would love to see even more of the life of Jordan Kirkwood and other character's of this novel come alive in future novels. Any plans for that in the future Jerry? Hint, hint.

    Splendid job Jerry Jenkins, you changed my outlook on this genre on writing! Fantastic!

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    character driven taut thriller

    For the past two decades, Jordan Kettering has worked as an NSA field analyst. His job made him a stranger to his wife, daughter and son. To make up for his neglect when the kids were growing up, Jordan arranges to meet his spouse at Heathrow Airport for a European vacation. Before Jordon goes to the airport, he meets with author Stanley Stewart, who insists there are MIGs in a Quonset hut brought there by al Qaeda to use them to attack the United States after missiles are smuggled into the country.

    At Heathrow, a sniper opens fires on Jordan wife and the man she is talking to killing many bystanders. While being debriefed in DC, Jordan meets with his former handler Chuck Wallington. He learns that Stanley was murdered too. Irate and grieving Jordon hides at his Uncle Denton's house. Wallington conceives a plan to stop the missiles from being loaded on a ship in Ecuador, but the enemy is one step ahead of the American counteragents. Kettering ponders whether NSA has a mole working for the enemy as time is running out to prevent the worst attack on American soil since 9/11.

    The Last Operative is a rewriting of Jerry B. Jenkins' first stand-alone The Operative written two decades ago and freshened with a revision of the political situations since the original publication. The story line is a pulse pumping thriller starring a fascinating patriot who goes about his dangerous mission with no time to stop to mourn his loss; yet consequently he remains in the early stages of grief compounded by remorse and regret as he for the first time questions the personal cost. Nathan Hale stated that his only regret was he could only give one life for his country, but that was comparatively easy as Hale bravely gave his own. Loaded with action, this is a character driven taut thriller as the hero faces personal demons he puts on hold while he confronts those killers who claim God on their side while murdering his children.

    Harriet Klausner

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