4 out of 4 stars
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The Exfiltrator by Garner Simmons is a thriller that follows an undercover CIA agent, Michael Corbett, and his role in maintaining the peace in Najaf, Iraq. Ahmed Abdul-Qadir al-Bakr, the leader of the newly formed Iraqi coalition government, has just been attacked and severely wounded, as ISIS hopes to destabilize Najaf and take control. Ahmed's son, Tariq, is primed to take his father's place in the event of his death; however, Tariq has been missing in Spain, information that Jihadists led by Jarral hope to exploit to find and kill Tariq. Corbett must now make his way to the Basque mountains under the guise of an archaeologist, his undercover profession, to find and exfiltrate Tariq while putting aside his emotions since Tariq is now in a relationship with his former lover, Amaia.
I enjoyed reading The Exfiltrator and liked that it was well written. The author employs the third-person narrative approach throughout the story, and right from the start, we are thrust into the conflict that forms the basis of the story. While similar conflicts have been explored in other books, the author includes fresh, intriguing features through the unique characters while exploring 15th-century Islamic history and 32,000 BCE in Spain. Garner Simmons also puts a lot of effort into the archaeological parts of the story as Corbett enlists a few interns and other professionals to explore an ancient cave. Readers can also expect a few intriguing discoveries here.
I found it interesting to see how Corbett would deal with having to save his former friend, Tariq, especially with the complications surrounding Amaia. Corbett wasn't entirely innocent in everything that transpired, however, and watching him in a constant battle with his demons created a lot of uncertainties that kept me excited to see how they would unfold.
The author also does a brilliant job with the characters, as there is a lot of depth to the characters, especially Corbett. We even get to peek into the minds of the terrorists to understand their views on religion and its flaws. My favorite aspect of the book has to be the author's execution of the action scenes, which I quickly got accustomed to early in the story and kept me at the edge of my seat. A very determined villain and a highly skillful protagonist meant that these scenes were numerous and there was always danger, and Garner Simmons went into detail in describing these scenes.
The book is exceptionally well edited, which improved my enjoyment of this fast-paced novel. I cannot think of anything I dislike about the book. Therefore, I rate The Exfiltrator four out of four stars. Readers who enjoy fast-paced thrillers and adventure novels will love this book. If you enjoy archeology novels, you will enjoy this book too. The profanity and sexual content in the book mean that it is only suitable for a mature audience.
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