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After her first assignment in Venezuela goes disastrously awry, rookie case officer Kyra Stryker is brought back to Langley to work in the Red Cell, the CIA’s out-of-the-box think tank. There she’s paired with Jonathan Burke, a straitlaced analyst who has alienated his ...
After her first assignment in Venezuela goes disastrously awry, rookie case officer Kyra Stryker is brought back to Langley to work in the Red Cell, the CIA’s out-of-the-box think tank. There she’s paired with Jonathan Burke, a straitlaced analyst who has alienated his colleagues with his unorthodox methods and a knack for always being right, political consequences be damned.
When a raid on Chinese spies in Taiwan ends in a shoot-out and the release of a deadly chemical, CIA director Kathy Cooke turns to the Red Cell to figure out why China is ready to invade the island nation without any fear of reprisal from the US Navy. Stryker and Burke’s only lead is the top CIA asset in China, code named Pioneer. But when Pioneer reports that Chinese security has him under surveillance, Stryker is offered a chance for redemption with a highly dangerous mission: extract Pioneer from China before he’s arrested and executed. The answers he holds could mean the difference between peace in the Pacific or another world war.
From CIA headquarters to the White House to a Navy carrier in the South China Sea and the dark alleyways of Beijing, Red Cell takes readers on a whirlwind race against time as Stryker and Burke work to save Pioneer and discover the hidden threat to America’s power: China’s top-secret weapon.
CIA analyst Mark Henshaw infuses expert knowledge of the intelligence world into a pulse-pounding plot to create a fascinating, authentic, and unforgettable read.
“Red Cell is as smart as it is exciting, a thriller that makes you think from the edge of your seat. Mark Henshaw’s unique perspective from the inside makes it all feel terrifyingly real.” —Howard Gordon, co-creator of Homeland and author of Hard Target
“Mark Henshaw is the real deal and he delivers big-time in his debut novel Red Cell. Only a decorated CIA analyst like Henshaw could take you this deep into the psyche of CIA operatives—and even deeper into one of the most dangerous and imminent geopolitical flashpoints of our times. If the events Henshaw plays out on the pages of his novel have not already taken place in secret, they may well play out in public sooner rather than later. Mr. President, this intelligence briefing is worth your special attention.” —Thomas Greanias, New York Times bestselling author of Dominus Dei
“Mark Henshaw clearly knows the terrain, from the geopolitical to the tradecraft in the shadows. I'm surprised this made it past the CIA censors. A rock solid thriller as plausible as tomorrow's headlines.” —Brad Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of One Rough Man and All Necessary Force
“If you’re looking for a great, authentic and thrilling story, look no further. Lock the door and turn off the phone, because you’re going on a journey only a gifted insider like Mark Henshaw could take you on. This author is a rare double threat—a man with the knowledge and access few have, and the rare talent as a writer to bring it to life. If you want to learn how things really work when it hits the fan, you can apply for a job at the CIA or read Mark’s book.” —David Ayer, screenwriter of Training Day and S.W.A.T.
Posted May 19, 2012
Red Cell by Mark Henshaw is non-stop action, from the opening chapter to the final word. Rookie case officer, Kyra Stryker, after almost losing her life on an assignment in Venezuela, is brought back to Langley where she joins the CIA’s Red Cell and is paired up with analyst Jonathan Burke. That pairing takes Stryker and Burke from Langley to China to impending war in the South China Sea.
Red Cell is an intense, fast moving read that’ll keep you turning pages. Lives are on the line and war is rumbling like a dark cloud overhead. What makes Red Cell even more intense is knowing that the author, Mark Henshaw, knows what he’s writing about. Henshaw is a decorated CIA analyst and was awarded the Director of National Intelligence Galileo Award. And he is a former member of the CIA’s Red Cell think tank.
But as much as the book is about Henshaw and Stryker, it is also about Red Cell’s undercover operative, called Pioneer, in the People’s Republic of China. At constant risk of life, he passes on information to his handlers, knowing that at any time he could be found out and killed by his own countrymen.
There’s a lot of action in Red Cell, with time to catch your breath along the way. As the intensity built, though, I found myself reading faster, wanting to find out if Pioneer would survive as the MSS close in on him and if the U.S. warships in the South China Sea can win the air war and stop an invasion of Taiwan.
I give Red Cell by Mark Henshaw a rating of Hel-of-a-Story.
FTC Disclaimer: Red Cell was sent to the Heart of Texas chapter of Sisters in Crime by Shida Carr with Simon & Schuster. HoTSinC then sent it on to me to review. Getting the book for free did not influence my review.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2013
I think this was a good story, well told, with a likeable main character, but it pales in comparison to Clancy's Red Storm Rising.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2012
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Posted October 24, 2012
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