Chess game of nuclear proportions in electrifying spy-thriller

Tribune Content Agency

In “Dead Drop” (Berkley), the heart-pounding, action-packed sequel to M.P. Woodward’s explosive debut, “The Handler,” readers are transported back into the world of intrigue and suspense where exes John and Meredith Dale find themselves entangled in a sinister plot orchestrated by a ruthless terrorist organization.

Authentic, relevant and addictive

John Dale is unexpectedly thrust back into action when the notorious ATLAS arrives on American soil, determined to extract every ounce of intelligence he possesses. Meanwhile, Meredith, a dedicated CIA case officer and John’s ex-wife, struggles to reconcile her personal life with the mounting crisis. Dragged back to Washington D.C., she races against time to handle the imminent threat of rockets targeting Israel.

Amid the chaos, Meredith takes a daring gamble, risking everything to uncover the true nature of the rockets and their potential radioactive payload. As her non-official cover is compromised, she becomes trapped in a deadly situation where survival seems impossible. In a parallel thread, John embarks on a mission to protect his ex-wife while fulfilling his duty, all while being seduced by an enigmatic Israeli woman.

“Dead Drop” is a masterclass in the espionage genre, combining clandestine operations, international diplomacy, and a ticking time bomb of nuclear proportions. Woodward firmly establishes himself as one of the premier authors in the spy novel genre with this stellar follow-up. While the world watches the delicate negotiations between the United States and Iran, a covert battle is being waged behind the scenes.

The Israeli Mossad suspects Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, is developing a new nuclear-capable missile. Refusing to stand idle, the Mossad launches audacious operations to disrupt their enemies, disregarding the international backlash. Simultaneously, the Americans find themselves in possession of a high-ranking Iranian intelligence officer, crucial to uncovering information about the new missile. However, when the officer escapes, a race ensues between Meredith Morris-Dale, John Dale, the CIA, the Mossad and the Iranians to capture him and seize control of the situation.

Explosive storytelling at its finest

Woodward’s mastery of the thriller genre shines through in “Dead Drop,” showcasing John Dale’s unwavering commitment to the CIA and his relentless pursuit of justice. Yet, even he yearns for a peaceful existence aboard his weathered boat, an aspiration that anyone can relate to. The author crafts the intricate lore of John and Meredith Dale with cinematic flair and exceptional storytelling.

Every character in Woodward’s world is worth knowing, each possessing their own motivations and reasons to root for their cause. From the fascination with a dilapidated boat to the nostalgia of Legos, the author takes the time to ensure that readers truly connect with every aspect of the story. Throughout the book, Woodward’s imaginative storytelling keeps readers guessing, expertly connecting the dots in a way that both astonishes and delights.

A spy-thriller worthy of the hype

“Dead Drop” offers readers a gripping narrative that thrives on suspense and uncertainty. It eschews relentless action in favor of an intricate chess match between world-class intelligence organizations. The story challenges readers to question the moral boundaries of the characters’ actions, blurring the line between right and wrong. At every turn, it keeps readers guessing who is manipulating whom in this captivating game of cat and mouse.

Woodward’s storytelling prowess is evident in the meticulous character development, the perfectly paced plot and the overall narrative excellence. It effortlessly ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable thriller experience. Woodward has established himself as a formidable force in the genre, and readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment in this gripping series.