As Sure As Death & Taxes – Rush W. Sterling

This geopolitical thriller opens with Paul, caught in a nightmare where he tries to flee a mob scene in Tehran sparked by a power outage. He wakes-up with a premonition of events to unfold. The plot’s main protagonists:
Paul, a French-American national and a successful portfolio manager divides his time between his Paris and London offices. Creditbank, his employer, is about to merge. This merger works against Paul’s interest. Paul decides to leave for a New York-based company, with his fiancée Soraya, a problematic companion. Paul nevertheless marries her. 9/11 events uproot their lives. Paul takes up a CIO job in Geneva but omits to settle his taxes. The IRS catches up upon his return to New York to bury his father. Paul is given the choice of being a CI or go to jail if he doesn’t agree to spy. The CIA moves him to the Middle-East to achieve surveillance of terrorist funding activities. (Imagine Gilles Marini or Chris Evans)

Bob, a disgruntled CIA agent whose bitterness leads to Jewish radicalism in retaliation against his ex-wife and a country he feels, has gone soft. (Imagine Jon Voight)

Olga, a young Muslim victim of appendicitis, a fact which saves her life as she’s sent to Moscow for treatment. Olga is in the care of Viktor, the head of Moscow’s Red Cross Refugees Center. Viktor is also an agent for the FSB. He welcomes Olga into his life as she serves as an alibi. Viktor grows fond of Olga and wishes a better life for her in the West. He strikes a deal with Bob. Viktor hands over to Bob, an operation against young Chechens. These Chechens have plotted to blow up a residential building. Instead of preventing the attack, Bob double-crosses Olga and Viktor and allows the assault to happen while killing Olga. (Imagine Olga Kurylenko)

Bob plans an unsanctioned CIA operation financed by Saudi intelligence with Mossad’s technical expertise. The scheme is to introduce a new Stuxnet computer virus, Cyrus, in the Iranian utility grid and destroy Iran’s energy infrastructure. The Saudis and Israelis need a man to be invited inside Iran’s power operation center run by the Iranian military and infect it. Bob cultivates Paul, as he sees in him the perfect person to carry the mission. Paul will be invited as an M & A expert of a UAE Sovereign Fund, seeking a stake in Iran’s oil production.

Anna, a young finance executive, cousin of Olga, seeks revenge against Bob. Anna enrolls in the Russian SVR. The SVR wishes to kidnap Bob, but Anna secretly plans to eliminate Bob. She fails twice in New York and Tel Aviv. With the assistance of Dimitri, a member of FSB’s Special Forces, Anna manages to poison Bob in Bahrain with a slow-acting solution. She witnesses a meeting between Bob and Paul. Anna was Paul’s assistant back in Paris and is also infatuated with him. The SVR starts uncovering Bob’s operation. (Imagine Alice Eve)

Meanwhile, Paul’s life appears to disintegrate with the loss of his job and a cheating wife. Bob initiates Paul’s infiltration in Iran. He pressures Paul to do so by holding his family hostage in Dubai. With Anna’s help, Paul manages to fool the Bob, the Mossad, and Saudis into thinking he succeeded in his mission, while Dimitri frees Paul’s family from Saudi captivity.

What do you think?

31 Points

Written by jbsundance

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