John le Carre’s writing has clearly left its influence on Wade Powers’ Resurrection Factor, an espionage tale in which the author explores themes of loyalty, betrayal and belonging.
As the story begins, CIA pilot Tim Lazarus witnesses aspiring presidential candidate Macon Graves shooting to death a terrorist held in custody. Lazarus is shot himself when one of the CIA agents turns out to be assisting another terrorist who survives, Hah Sridan.
Having seen too much, Lazarus is held captive by the CIA to prevent him from destroying Graves’ career. Unwilling to have his memory wiped clean, Lazarus escapes CIA headquarters. What he doesn’t know is that while he’s been in custody, his wife has married his former best friend.
Meanwhile Sridan is plotting to fire a nuclear warhead into Pakistan to create a backlash that would allow him to become a Muslim ruler of his native India. Eventually captured, Lazarus is offered a deal to go undercover at Sridan’s factory – with a surgically altered appearance and voice – after which he would be allowed to rejoin his family.
While the characterizations and plot emphasize the le Carre influence well, several features are less effective, including the widespread use of italics for emphasis and for flashback scenes that go on too long. Although some characters are well developed, such as Lazarus and the religious fundamentalist Hamid, others are less so, including Lazarus’ 12-year-old son (who at one point calls his kissing parents “lovebirds,” making him sound more like a grandfather than kid.) The text also contains numerous typos, such as, “in hast” (in haste) and “brut” (brute).
Nonetheless, the novel’s main plot and themes make the book hard to put down. For all its faults, Resurrection Factor is a highly engaging thriller in which the human element is given a depth often missing in other works.
Also available as an ebook.