One of the most decorated covert agents in U.S. history, Burroughs Rice, has been “on the black” for ten years, deep under cover and running for his life from some of the world's most dangerous power brokers.
When a mysterious government agency stumbles onto the ex-agent in the wilds of Washington state, they force Rice to deal with a terrible secret. What follows is a harrowing road trip across the American heartland with Rice at war with an army of International mercenaries, an organized crime family, and an ultra-violent biker gang.
Complicating his mission is a young hitchhiker he rescues, and a trauma nurse who becomes an unwitting ally.
ON THE BLACK comes to a surprising climax in the nation's capital - an armed showdown in one of the country's most famous national treasures.
Based on hundreds of hours of research, including interviews with actual intelligence operatives, ON THE BLACK is epic, suspenseful, and ultimately revealing.
What I liked: While waiting for release of some of my favorite series, I've been having a hard time lately finding books that capture and hold my attention. So, I went to my TBR pile and started looking for something to entertain me. On the Black more than met my expectations.
I'm a sucker for a well written thriller that keeps me wanting more and more. I felt the research, characters and pacing of On the Black were well above average. I became invested in the characters more than the plot. Rice, a former covert agent for the CIA, has been hiding out in the mountains for 10 years but he's finally back on his former boss' radar. Rice knows where all the bodies are buried and his boss and former President want to make sure they stay buried.
There is almost a story within a story in the book. Abby watched her family assassinated by the mob while in witness protection and was taken by the head of the "family" to be his play thing. The Family's reach is long and they've been hunting her for a while. The FBI is also looking for her as a witness in the slaying of her family. Abby has learned how to blend in and get lost. A robbery at the diner where Abby works changes everything and puts her and Rice together on a trek across country. The CIA is looking for Rice, the FBI and a mob family is looking for Abby and now a huge drug running gang on motorcycles is looking for both of them.
The characters made this story and kept me reading even when there were some outrageous James Bond type moments. Mr Cage's research and pacing in writing On the Black is undeniable. The secondary characters were just as important to the story as Rice and Abby without overwhelming the reader.
What I didn't like: Here's the thing, I finished reading On the Black a week ago. I didn't have time to write the review until now. I remember the characters very well; I remember Abby's situation like it was yesterday. I even remember all the secondary characters. What I can't remember for the life of me is what Rice knows that make his former bosses want to kill him. Weird, huh?
The ending was a little to manipulated for my taste but I do remember it. It just seemed too quick based on everything else that had happened.