First Assignment


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A twisty and gripping tale featuring a tortured marine, a young CIA agent misled by his superiors and corruption at the very top


Young and inexperienced CIA agent Alex Everett is surprised to be commissioned with the task of locating a rogue agent.   He is sent to support the FBI in a murder investigation but is told that the murders are actually the work of the agent and that the less the FBI know about it the better. The man has killed two people before Alex arrives and another shortly afterward- or so it appears – but in the course of the investigation mismatching details emerge.  Alex’s life is further complicated by the discovery that the County Medical Examiner working on the case is Carol Morrison, a woman he’d had a crush on in his youth. Helped by Carol and John, the FBI agent from whom he is obliged to conceal information, Alex uncovers facts and evidence withheld by his bosses and when Gregory, the rogue agent, contacts him he realises his own life is in danger.

Alex is an engaging protagonist – clearly out of his depth but determined to find out what is going on.  Tom, the tortured but indomitable marine in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Kleebistan, whose story is interwoven with Alex’s enquiries, is a strong character in his own right, and only much later do we discover how what has happened to him relates to the reasons for Alex's assignment.

 Although Alex is initially unable to share information with John and Carol, both well-rounded and appealing characters, they eventually work as a team and the action proceeds at a furious pace, interspersed with information about the shadowy characters who have masterminded the plot. The febrile air of corruption which shows through in the interchanges between the villains and their underlings, and their total lack of morality is skilfully conveyed.  Although the notion of depravity and sleaze at the heart of government is not new, the lack of respect for human life and debauched life style of the powerful men involved in the intrigue is cleverly conveyed in a variety of ways, though perhaps a few redeeming features might have made them more credible.   Despite there being multiple strands to the plot, with convoluted twists and turns, this did not detract from the central drive of the narrative which held me to the very end. A great read.

Reviewed by

Jenny Hill (Jaye Sarasin) Took early retirement from teaching to write YA (The Green Enclave) and commercial fiction Published Using Literature in Language Teaching (Macmillan 1986) Jennifer Hill The Green Enclave (Parfoys Press 2017) Passionate reader, gardener, traveller


About the author

This is my first novel--a political thriller. I was inspired to write this book from other espionage thrillers I have read and, most recently, because of the current political climate in our country. I enjoy writing poetry, painting, and spending time with my family and my cats and dogs. view profile

Published on July 22, 2022

150000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Espionage

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