The Operative

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reviewed by Dayna Davis, Staff Writer

The Operative by Willard Boyd Gardner. Published by Covenant Communications, Inc.

"Consumed with unbearable guilt, Kam Daniels, an ex-Seattle policeman, is unable to forget the horrific accident he is certain he could have prevented. Desperate to escape his anguish, he takes a job halfway across the world and leaves everything behind: his home, his career, and his beautiful, bewildered wife — CIA agent Rhiana Daniels.
When an undercover operative is kidnapped by a fanatical Arab faction in Yemen, Kam's knowledge of the language and culture prove to be invaluable, and he is recruited to help rescue the agent. However, the mission becomes even more complicated when he learns that one of the team members is his estranged wife.

Traveling with a research group sponsored by Brigham Young University, Kam and Rhiana attempt to navigate the obstacles that distance and time have placed between them, even as they confront dangerous militants determined to prevent the agent's rescue by any means necessary."

It is always interesting to me just how many different styles of fiction there are. About the time when I have started to think that romance is typical for LDS fiction - I read something like "The Operative" and am reminded that not all fiction is created equal.

"The Operative" is a very intense 'spy' book - to sum it up briefly. We start out with just a minimum of information about Kam Daniels, the main character, and we piece his profile together as we go. It is suspenseful, not at all predictable, and a truly unique book. This novel takes us to several different countries, like France and Yemen. I do have to say that it is the first novel that I have ever read that is located in part in Yemen, and I found it to be well researched and very interesting. Although it is not needed, I do hope there will be a second book to see what happens next in the main characters' lives.