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The Agency: Jed Walker    by James Phelan Amazon.com order for
Agency
by James Phelan
Order:  USA  Can
Quercus, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

James Phelan's The Agency is the fifth in his series starring Jed Walker, who served in Air Force special ops. Now, as this episode begins in 2005, Jed and his wife Eve have been separated for two years. We meet Jed in training as a CIA agent. Assessing this crop of new recruits from the sidelines is legendary CIA officer Harold Richter.

The training barely over, Richter secretly enrolls Walker in a special operation in New Orleans. He's to contact a man in a bar and go on from there. But everything goes south from the start. An attractive woman approaches Jed at the bar and tells him there's something to help him in a restroom stall - she'll find him if he gets out alive. He almost doesn't.

Turns out the woman, Steph, is a British agent. They escape on a scooter. She tells him someone in New Orleans wants him dead, and also asks for his help with her own assignment. Can he trust her? There are betrayals around every corner in this spy story, along with a constant struggle to survive, along the lines of a Ludlum thriller. Walker is soon on the run from the authorities as well as GreyStone military contractors.

He does have some assistance, after he reaches out to his father's old friend, Marty Bloom, who is deeply embedded in the U.S. intelligence community. Luke, a contact of Steph's who 'is not a fan of government', also helps on more than one occasion. Jed Walker needs all the help he can get. Don't miss The Agency, an entertaining, escapist read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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