A relentless pursuit all the way

A book review by Sebastian Lim

Title: Relentless

Author: Mark Greaney

Publisher: Berkley

ISBN: 9780593098950

Year Published: 2021

Relentless is another exceptional spy thriller from Mark Greaney. The 10th entry in the Gray Man series, Relentless contains another captivating and exciting narrative, which, combined with Greaney’s impeccable writing and suspenseful plot, makes for an excellent thriller. It offers readers an awesome reading experience.

The story begins with a slight defect in the hero’s armour as he is injured and revs up with nonstop action.

Court Gentry, aka the Gray Man, is recovering from a stab wound, and he really needs to get some rest. He’s tired and badly weakened, not yet fit for operational duty, but the CIA’s off-the-books contract killer is unaccustomed to having free time at his disposal.

Soon he’s in Caracas, trying to spring his comrade in arms Zack Hightower from a Venezuelan prison. Then he’s off to Germany to deal with a possible coordinated attack on Americans in Berlin.

Gentry, whose CIA code name is Violator, is that rare killer with a heart, so he only takes on righteous and worthy assignments and does them right. Gentry’s in love with Zoya Zakharova, a field operative also working for the CIA, but gunning down bad guys keeps both too busy for a meaningful relationship.

Meanwhile, a royalty in the United Arab Emirates can hardly wait for his father to die of cancer, and an Iranian Quds sleeper agent plots mayhem in Berlin. Evildoers abound in this thriller, including Americans.

But the main culprit is Maksim Akulov, who works for the Russian Mafia and whose target is Zakharova.

The title aptly fits the plot, as the hero scarcely takes a breather. There’s enough bloodshed to pour into two thrillers, and Greaney doesn’t spare the good guys. Gentry’s body is racked with pain and exhaustion much of the time, but he is relentless. And Zack gets more than scratched while he thinks that fighting a robot attack would be one creative way to go.

As one of the successful writers in the thriller genre today, Greaney showcases his literary skills, combining balls-to-the-wall action with a smart, tightly-wound plot that offers entertaining reading.

It’s all so well done that while readers will not only enjoy the explosions and gunfights, they’ll also appreciate the expertly-plotted story and superb character development.

Despite his killing skill, Gentry, however, is no ladies man. His relationship with Zoya (codename: Antham) is both intriguing and a challenge. It’s only fitting that the world’s greatest assassin shares a bed with a woman who could gut him in about two seconds flat, dump the body, and disappear before anyone ever notices that someone had gone missing.

And without giving anything away, Greaney sets things up to develop his hero even more in the next instalment. Not for the squeamish but definitely a jolt for thriller fans.

Sebastian Lim is an experienced journalist and editor who now runs his own book review blog — coolreadsseb.blogspot.com. The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent that of The Weekly-Echo.