Back Blast by Mark GreaneyTitle: Back Blast

Author: Mark Greaney

Pages: 528

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 16 February 2016

Rating: ★★★★★


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 was so excited to finally have this book in my hands. Mark Greaney’s Court Gentry series is right up there in my favourites and unfortunately it had been a long wait since the previous book in the series, Dead Eye, was published. All I can say having read Back Blast is that it was definitely worth the wait because it was so good.

Back Blast is the fifth novel in Mark Greaney’s spy thriller series starring ex-CIA operative Court Gentry. After five years hiding across the globe as the hired assassin known as the Gray Man, Gentry returns home to the United States determined to find out why the CIA has put a kill on sight order on his head. Gentry finds out that it may have something to do with a mistake he made on a mission six years earlier, but there’s only one problem: as far as Gentry remembers he didn’t make a mistake on that mission.

My favourite thing about all the books in the Gray Man series, and that is especially true of Back Blast, is Greaney’s writing style. Greaney is able to seamlessly combine bouts of thrilling action and vivid descriptions of places and people without out making it too wordy and a chore to read. Normally, I really only enjoy books that feel like a realistic representation of the world and Back Blast really pushes those boundaries with high level conspiracies and gun battles all over Washington D.C., but Greaney’s writing style makes it easy for me to clearly picture what is happening in my head like a movie is playing in there. Also, it helps that he is a master at writing gripping action scenes.

I really enjoyed the increased focus on supporting characters in this book. For the first four books in the series, Gentry was very much a lone wolf type character and the books had that Jack Reacher feel where Greaney would create interesting side characters only for them to never appear again. However in Back Blast it feels as if Gentry finally has some strong supporting characters and that really changes the dynamics of the book. I am looking forward to seeing where that goes in the future and whether we will see characters such as Hanley and Hightower appear more frequently in coming books.

All in all, I loved Back Blast. It is a well-written book that is easy to read and has the blend of action and an interesting plot that I always look for in a book. For fans of Gentry like myself, it is also great because Back Blast finally provides closure on a question that has been teased through all the previous books as to why Gentry was on the run in the first place. This book has got me genuinely excited to see what Greaney does with Gentry next and hopefully we don’t have to wait another two and a bit years to find out!

Worth a read? If you’re a fan of authors like Flynn, Thor, Coes, Taylor or any others that write with a similar style then Mark Greaney is perfect for you. Back Blast is a fast-paced, action-packed spy thriller with a strong lead character, an interesting plot and a little bit of mystery, definitely making it worth a read for thriller fans.



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