Friday, June 15, 2018

*Review* Back Blast by Mark Greaney

Genre: Thriller
Published: February 16, 2016
Pages: 512

Court Gentry was the CIA’s best agent. Until the day the Agency turned against him and put out a kill on sight order. That’s when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born—and Court has been working for himself ever since

Now, Court is back in Washington looking for answers. He’s determined to find out what happened all those years ago that made the Agency turn against him. On his list to interrogate are his former partners and the men who sent him on his last mission. What he doesn’t realize is that the questions that arose from that mission are still reverberating in the U.S. intelligence community, and he’s stumbled onto a secret that powerful people want kept under wraps. And now, they have Court in their crosshairs.

Court Gentry is used to having people on his trail, but this time, it’s on U.S. soil—the last place he wants to be. Now, he’ll have to find the answers to his fate while evading capture…and avoiding death.

I initially received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program, but ultimately ended up purchasing the audiobook and listening to that. This is my honest review. 

I imagine if you're a fan of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne series, this series would be right up your alley. While I've never read those books, I have seen most of the movies (I think) and this felt a lot like them. This isn't a genre I read much at all, and it would probably be safe to say that I don't read the specific sub-genre (political thriller) that this falls into ever. And to come into a series in a genre I barely read at the fifth book? Well, that was clearly a big mistake on my part. I had a hard time getting into the story and my loan through First to Read expired before I was even close to the end of the book. I was actually prepared to call this book a DNF and just be done with it, but then I saw the audiobook on offer during a 2 for 1 credit sale on Audible (I think. It may have been available during a major site sale or as an Audible Daily Deal now that I think about it. In any case, I got it for some sort of sale price). 

The audiobook changed the game for me. I'm guessing it brought it close enough to being like watching a movie for my brain to engage with the characters and the story. With the audio, I eventually found myself lingering over housework so I could listen longer before moving on to another responsibility. I was intrigued by the unknowns in the story, and just like Court, I didn't understand why he'd become a persona non grata with his former employers. And I really wanted to see him prevail and Denny Carmichael get his comeuppance. 

While I will certainly not be reading any of the other books from this series, I just might snag them in audio. Overall I give Back Blast 3.879 stars. - Katie 

Mark Greaney is the #1 NYT bestselling author of TOM CLANCY TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE. He has written or cowritten seven Tom Clancy novels, and is also the bestselling author of the Gray Man series, including GUNMETAL GRAY, BACK BLAST, DEAD EYE, BALLISTIC, ON TARGET, and THE GRAY MAN. 

Mark lives in Memphis, Tennessee


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