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Monday, July 1, 2013

RED CELL by Mark Henshaw

From CIA headquarters to the White House to a Navy carrier in the South China Sea and to the dark alleyways of Beijing, Red Cell takes readers on a whirlwind race against time as Stryker and Burke work to save top CIA asset Pioneer and discover the hidden threat to America’s power: China’s top-secret weapon.

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Susan said...

This book is exciting and intense from the very beginning, and the suspense continues until the end. I became quickly invested in the characters, who are believable, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The author provides an interesting peek at the workings of the CIA as they deal with various political entities, and he knows what he is writing about, having been a CIA analyst "with more than thirteen years of service". The only downside to the book for me was trying to remember all the government and military acronyms. It was a wonderful bonus to find this book free from profanity and sexual content.

Audrey Hammer said...

This is a CIA thriller in which the Chinese provoke Taiwan, which then creates tension between China and the U.S. Two analysts who make up the Red Cell of the CIA are our star characters. They help figure out what China is exactly up to and also help the rest of the CIA extract a valuable asset from China who is now in danger.

There are a lot of acronyms here and not all of them are explained. But it usually doesn't matter because most of them are agencies of some kind or else military terms. The descriptions of the CIA feel very real; I think they are based on real experience. The descriptions of the aircraft carrier is also dead on. There are also quite a few characters, and point of view shifts quickly between them. I quickly forgot the minor characters' names, and they all blended together.

Anyone who enjoys spy thrillers should enjoy this. It moves along nicely, and the characters are fun and real. There is no language or sex here, and the violence is not graphically described, so you can feel safe giving it to your young teens.

I would like to tell the author that he did not get his money's worth for the editing and proof-reading job with this. There are a number of misspelled words that a spellchecker would catch, and there is comma abuse in every other sentence, plus a few grammar errors. That was distracting to me, so any other grammar nazis should be wary.