After reading the first two books in Jeffrey S. Stephens’ Jordan Sandor series, Targets of Opportunity and its prequel Targets of Deception, I knew I was in for a great third addition to the series. Some foreshadowing in Targets of Opportunity lead the reader to believe that there is a large showdown looming between Jordan and the man responsible for his plight. I’ve always been interested in spy/thriller books in general, and I knew going in to this book that I’d enjoy it, but little did I know that I would be reading the best book in the series!
Targets of Revenge begins with Jordan crashing a glider into the jungle along the coast of Venezuela, hot on the trail of a man known as Rafel Cabello, who goes by the moniker Adina. He was the mastermind of the deadly terrorist attacks from the previous two books, notably the downing of a jet in the Gulf of Mexico and the death of one of Jordan’s best friends, Kurt Zimmermann. Now that Jordan finally was able to place a name behind all of the attacks that have caused him such pain over the last year, he finally sets out to kill him. After landing the glider, Jordan discovers a small lab in the jungle that houses not only Adina’s hideaway, but a hastily constructed lab that contains a cocaine refinery operation as well as something much deadlier: anthrax. Although this finding puts his original plan to exterminate Adina on hold, Jordan is able to escape with crucial information that hopefully will uncover Adina’s purpose for the manufacture of such a deadly toxin. The trail then leads him to Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, where he meets with a Russian drug lord who is involved in the operation. After surviving a harrowing SCUBA related assassination attempt, Jordan then heads to Russia, and finally, New York City, where he discovers Adina’s deadly plan. Now out of time and options, Jordan must stop Adina at all costs before it is too late.
As I’ve stated earlier in my reviews of Stephens’ works, I enjoy how much he plays up both sides of the spy/thriller coin when crafting his stories. He gets into the geo-political aspects of the story, explaining the diplomatic relationships between the US and various other nations without getting too complex. On the other hand, there is more than enough action to go around, balancing out the diplomatic aspects of the story. In Targets of Revenge, it seems that Stephens has tipped the scales more towards the action side of things, as the pace escalated quickly from the beginning and didn’t let up until the end. To be honest, I had a blast reading all the action and it was a great respite from everything I’ve been doing for work and school recently. It was like taking a reading vacation, and Stephens did a great job at pulling me in at the beginning and keeping up the pressure. Sandor is a great character, and he’s got a good combination of diplomacy and a good old-fashioned bravado that mixes well and makes him incredibly likable. I’m happy to say that I have no regrets in giving all three of these books 5 stars each, they definitely deserved them.
5 out of 5 Stars
Targets of Revenge by Jeffrey S. Stephens
Gallery Books (2013)
Hardcover 441 pages
Special thanks to Gallery Books for my review copy!