Author Jack Mars was new to me so I had no expectations about “Agent Zero” other than, hopefully, a good espionage thriller. Did Mars deliver? Yes and no. The protagonist is a CIA agent who’s been living the quiet life as a widowed college history professor with two teenage daughters. Or he was until some middle eastern types yanked him from his home in the middle of the night & spirited him across the pond to a basement in Paris where they proceeded to interrogate and torture him to give up secrets that he didn’t remember. After surviving their torture he miraculously escapes, only to stumble over a clandestine munitions operation, again gets himself locked up by the bad guys and again by performing small miracles makes yet another harrowing escape from the clutches of death.
And so it goes but I think you can see where this is going. There’s lots more to the story of course, other characters (not all are baddies). If it had illustrations it’d be a great graphic novel because Professor Reid Lawson, aka Agent Kent Steele, is none other than Agent Zero who would make a terrific superhero in that graphic novel. He seems to have cat-like qualities, e.g. nine lives. It’s all so far-fetched as to be unbelievable but if you’re looking for a knock down, drag ‘em out action adventure read, Mars’ Spy Thriller Series just might be your cup of tea, or belt of bourbon and branch water. It is entertaining, if you don’t mind heavy doses of brutality, torture, sadism, and vigilante style justice. To each his own. Three and a half stars.
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