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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Painkiller isn't just the name of a popular rum-based drink; it's also the title of Will Staeger's sensational debut thriller featuring a quasi-retired CIA operative living as a glorified beach bum in the British Virgin Islands, an inexperienced but tenacious Agency intelligence analyst investigating Northeast Asia, zombie slaves, the Bermuda Triangle -- and the potential beginnings of WWIII.
W. Cooper, as he calls himself, is living an idyllic life at Conch Bay in the British Virgin Islands. His daily routine consists of free diving, drinking, fishing, boating, and more drinking. The enigmatic spy is a walking mystery: "…his skin looked like the peeling hull of an old boat. Scar tissue creased his cheekbones, his nose had been flattened by a couple dozen breaks, and he had the eyes of somebody who'd checked out a few decades back." When Cooper gets roped into helping the local police dispose of a bizarrely disfigured corpse, he begins a quest to solve the strange murder and soon finds himself up against Haitian witch doctors, albino serial killers, and nuclear bomb–wielding Communist dictators! Meanwhile, CIA analyst Julie Laramie stumbles across a massive terrorist plot that includes China, North Korea, and Yemen -- the only problem is that her superiors won't do anything with the information.
Fans of authors like Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Nelson DeMille, John le Carré, and Carl Hiaasen will absolutely love the nonconformist duo of W. Cooper and Julie Laramie. Outrageously original, utterly cool, and so fast-paced it should be illegal, Staeger's Painkiller is a rip-roaring adrenaline fest. Paul Goat Allen