“I could still see the fanatic pitiless eyes smiling at me down the barrel of his gun.
‘Ready to die?’ Mustafa jabbed his AK muzzle into my eye and sneered down the barrel. ‘Shall I shoot you in the right eye? Or the left?’”
In Mike Bond’s latest thriller Goodbye Paris (Big City Press), that’s how Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins remembers what happened eight years ago in Mosul, when he and his buddy Mack were grabbed by Mustafa al-Boudienne and Mustafa’s terrorist crew.
Pono and Mack escaped. And now Mustafa is thought to be dead.
But he’s not. Now French intelligence has learned Mustafa is in Paris…and an Iranian diplomat may be headed to Paris carrying a suitcase with a nuclear weapon.
So Pono, barely recovering from a near-death smash-up in a Tahitian surfing competition, gets a call from Paris. From Mack, now with the CIA, working with French Intelligence: Come here and work with me and the French to find and stop Mustafa.
Pono thinks, “After multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, a bullet-smashed shoulder, plus two undeserved jail terms and various other miseries, I had no desire to get tied up with the Agency.”
But, Mack eerily reminds him, “Don’t you want to get Mustafa? Before he kills again?”
Since “Pono” in Hawaiian means “the right, good and moral way to live,” the reader knows what the answer will be. But no sooner does Pono arrive in Paris than Mack has been kidnapped.
How? As Pono remembers, “Mack was not a guy you surprised; even in sleep he was dangerous.” Then Mack’s wife Gisele is grabbed. Are both being held by Mustafa? Can Pono find and save them? (As he knows, right now terrorists will be torturing Mack…mostly for fun.) Or will Mack’s and Gisele’s lives be the price of finding and stopping – and killing – Mustafa?
Or will the world have to tell Paris “Goodbye”…? And why was Mack grabbed? To get Pono? And what is French intelligence withholding from Pono?
Those are just a few of the questions thrown at Pono Hawkins – and at the reader – as the thriller Goodbye Paris accelerates. The third in Bond’s bestselling Pono Hawkins series – after Saving Paradise and Killing Maine – it’s like a ride Pono soon finds himself on: clutching a “too stunning to be pretty” Frenchwoman who works for French intelligence…clutching her as she weaves her motorcycle at 120 mph through traffic. It’s fast and twisty, and you don’t know how it’s going to end.
Plus, along the way, the reader doesn’t get just thrills. The reader also gets crisp writing and intelligence. Pono remembers his father saying, “Don’t be a bullet sponge in the Marines, go into Special Forces. Those guys have all the fun.” Pono remembers what it was like in Special Forces: You have to be crazy not to go crazy in Afghanistan. (Mike Bond echoes Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.)
Luckily for the reader, Goodbye Paris doesn’t stop until it has delivered every possible ounce of intelligent excitement…and answers who gets killed. Pursuing his enemy, Mustafa, and not 100 percent trustful of the people on “his” side, Pono Hawkins is determined that whoever gets killed, it’s not going to be him. And when, at night, he sees “Paris spread before us like a million chandeliers,” he’s determined that it won’t be destroyed either.
Pono Hawkins is not going to say Goodbye Paris.
Goodbye Paris is now available for purchase.
ABOUT MIKE BOND:
Mike Bond is the bestselling author of Saving Paradise, House of Jaguar, The Last Savanna, Holy War, Tibetan Cross, Killing Maine, Assassins, and Snow. He is a war and human rights journalist and ecologist who has lived and worked in many dangerous and war-torn regions of the world. His critically acclaimed novels depict the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joys of love, the terror and fury of battle, the sinister conspiracies of dictators, corporations and politicians, and the beauty of the vanishing natural world.