Pascual Rose—the terrorist courier turned deep-cover informant introduced in Dominic Martell’s acclaimed international thriller Lying Crying Dying—returns in this masterfully executed, continually unpredictable, relentlessly suspenseful new adventure.
From the outset, when an overfriendly total stranger accosts the down-and-out Pascual in the shadowy nave of the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral, Pascual wants no part of anything he has to offer. Nonetheless, $100,000 and the threat of exposure lure Pascual from portside Barcelona, where he has been hiding from his terrorist past, to the banking precincts of Paris, where he again confronts it.
Hired by French intelligence to finger a one-time comrade turned global terrorism entrepreneur, Pascual finds himself hurled into Algerian factional warfare and charmed by an earnest Algerian journalist, who weds her destiny to his. She gets more than a story, however, as she follows Pascual into a perilous world where your closest ally may be a traitor and the enemy your lifeline, where bullets are common currency and nothing can be taken at face value.
Least certain of all to the increasingly beleaguered Pascual is the identity of the real heavyweights. He knows only that beyond Algerian death squads, beyond the long arm of the Russian conglomerate Mirakl, beyond French security agents and the Swiss police operates a faceless cadre that acknowledges no borders and honors no bonds.
Retired counterterrorist Pascual March (known to readers of Martell's first thriller, Lying Crying Dying, as Pascual Rose) is hiding in Barcelona, somewhat the worse for wear, when he is reluctantly coaxed back into action by a French intelligence agency that makes him an offer he can't refuse. They will deposit a big check in a bank account for him-and generously allow him to live. In turn, he needs to help them capture international terrorist Daoud Najjar. March is the only person capable of even recognizing Najjar, since others in the intelligence community who knew the criminal mastermind are dead of mostly unnatural causes. Najjar is one of an ethnically mixed Russian-based group called Mirakl, which has bought control of a Parisian bank and is using it for money laundering, drug and weapons dealing, and prostitution. The group is scheduled to meet soon at the bank's headquarters. Together with Djemila Yacine, an Algerian newswoman in pursuit of a nefarious Algerian general who's part of Mirakl, Pascual hatches a scheme to plant a transmitter on Najjar. The scheme backfires, and Najjar recognizes Pascual and Djemila, putting their lives in immediate danger. The action flies from one European transportation hub to another as bodies pile up. No one is trustworthy except the author, who skillfully whips up a satisfying thriller in spite of a few predictable turns. Pascual's quiet dignity and savoir faire continue to charm. (Feb.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Pascual Rose, a former courier for European terrorist groups first seen in Lying Crying Dying, is coerced by what he thinks is a French intelligence group into identifying a former colleague who is now engaged in selling illegal weapons provided by the Russian mafia. The buyer is an Algerian general who has come to Paris for a meeting at a bank owned by Mirakl, the international conglomerate providing cover for the Russian gangsters. Soon Pascual hooks up with an expatriate Algerian reporter who wants to stop the endless killings in her country, and they follow a twisted path of intrigue and extreme danger from Paris to Zurich and back, never knowing who is the enemy. Martell, who also writes as Sam Reaves (Dooley's Back), has taken the overused character of the burned-out international adventurer-in this case an ex-terrorist-and has breathed new life into it. As sequels go, this is a successful book: the pace is fast, the plot believable, and the storytelling engaging. For all fiction collections where international intrigue is popular.-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., OH Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Further adventures of Pascual Rose, the cowardly counterterrorist (self-avowed) who’s still trying to come in from the cold. Geopolitical chess, played by super-spies and begun last year in Lying Crying Dying—to which this is the sequel—revs up again, the moves sneakier and of darker intent. Probably the middle game’s been reached, but that’s hard to know for sure; hard for poor, embattled Pascual even to know precisely who his opposition is, though whoever it is, harm is assuredly the object. There he was, beached in Barcelona, broke but safe (he foolishly believed), having dodged a multiplicity of inimical forces: drinking too much, whoring more than he really wanted to, doing the odd translating gig in one or another of his six languages, keeping his head down. And then suddenly, looming large in Pascual’s out-of-the-way path, came the enigmatic Frenchman Morrell, packing one of those gut-wrenching can’t-refuse offers. A hundred thousand US dollars, says he, in exchange for a quick betrayal, an act not unfamiliar to a counterterrorist famously. . . er. . . pragmatic. French intelligence is interested in a former colleague of Pascual’s, an operator who’s changed sides as often as Pascual has himself. The havoc wrought by Daoud Najjar is well known. What he looks like, however, is a mystery to virtually all except Pascual. Come to Paris, plant "the Judas kiss," then fade into the night, pockets filled. Refuse, and bulletins will be sent to an array of those who’d kill—le mot juste—to learn Pascual’s hidey-hole. Bereft of choices, he wends his way to Paris, tracks his quarry (while his quarry tracks him), falls in love, gets caught up in multinational swindles, Algerian politics, Swisschicanery, and Russian hooliganism, but manages nevertheless to elude all pursuers and, quintessential survivor that he is, position himself for the end game. Endlessly convoluted, but if you’ve got a soft spot for the Byronic antihero, Pascual’s your man.
“If you’ve got a soft spot for the Byronic anti-hero, Pascual’s your man.”
Dominic Martell has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and in widely varying latitudes. Born in the United States, he has spent a considerable period of his life abroad. He has resided in Spain and France and made extended journeys in Latin America, Europe, and the Near East. He studied philosophy and languages and has worked as a translator and a teacher. He lived in Barcelona for a year and in Strasbourg for another. Other cities that have intrigued him include Paris, Algiers, Cairo, Damascus, and Cali. He has lived in Chicago for a number of years while making frequent trips abroad. Under the pseudonym Sam Reaves, he has published six crime novels, all set in the United States. He is married and has a son and a daughter.