THIS IS Eric Van Lustbader’s latest non-Jason Bourne thriller. Any Minute Now offers Bourne’s fans a distinctively different narrative that even thriller readers will find it a challenge to keep up.
The book is centred around Red Rover, a private security firm that’s known for handling “blacker than black ops”.
Most of their assignments come from the NSA (the US’ National Security Agency), who hires them through a subcontractor to handle its most dangerous missions.
Led by Greg Whitman, Red Rover heads to Pakistan in search of a man named Seiran el-Habib.
Instead, they walk into an ambush and, thereafter, encounter one casualty after another, suffering numerous injuries along the way.
This prompts Whitman’s superiors to abort the mission. Whitman, however, decides to disobey orders and forges ahead instead.
To replace a fallen team member, Whitman turns to his old contact, Charlie Daou, a weapons expert who makes her own “custom boom-sticks”.
Daou’s weapons are unique in that they’re undetectable, even to scanners.
Meanwhile, Whitman is unaware that Luther St Vincent, one of the NSA’s top dogs, is heading up an experimental operation to chemically engineer and weaponise soldiers.
This requires doctors to play with the soldier’s brains, which eventually, has its consequences.
The conspiracies go deeper as everyone seems to be connected in one way or another to a shadowy, mysterious character called the Preacher.
To complicated matters further, there’s another player at work here, a group called the Alchemists.
Eventually, everything is thrown together in what is designed to be a riveting, supernatural action-drama or suspense novel.
As hard as this book was to get through at times, there are moments of exciting action dramas a la Jason Bourne. The characters are all interesting and unique, and they related to one another well.
If nothing else, Van Lustbader did come up with an original story, even if it is not one that I expected. .