It's a test. The Lost Boys, recruits to ISIS from a reform school in the US, are tasked with beheading hostages. At least one of them gets a taste for it. Seeing the performance, senior officers in ISIS realize the potential of the killers. They're from the US with US passports and can infiltrate the West easily.
All that stands between the West and chaos is the Taskforce and Pike Logan's group. No longer a member of the Taskforce, Logan has his own group headed by himself and Jennifer, his lover, that finds terrorists on a for-profit basis.
The book toggles back and forth between the Taskforce based in Washington and Pike's group. Because of this split, the action is fragmented. However, it works to increase the tension. Although the fact that there is a terrorist plot is evident from early in the novel, we don't learn the target until very late. For me, this detracted somewhat from the plot, but did keep the suspense high.
The characters are stereotypes. Pike Logan is the brilliant operative who likes to go it alone. Jennifer is the beautiful associate. The other members of Pike's group are strong men with plenty of testosterone. The fact that they are stereotypes works well in this sort of novel where the focus is on the action and daring of the characters rather than on character development.
This is the 8th Pike Logan novel, but it is perfectly understandable as a standalone and the author doesn't waste too much time on back story.
If you enjoy a thriller with current politics as the background, this is a good one.
I received the book from Penguin Random House for this review.