Annal: 2005 Barry Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2005.

Book:Rain Storm

Rain Storm: A John Rain Thriller

Barry Eisler

In Rain Storm, Rain has fled to Brazil to escape the killing business and the enemies who have been encircling him. But his knack for making death seem to have been of “natural causes” and his ability to operate unnoticed in Asia continue to create unwelcome demand for his services. His old employer, the CIA, persuades him to take on a high-risk assignment: a ruthless arms dealer supplying criminal groups throughout Southeast Asia.

The upside? Financial, of course, along with the continued chimera of moral redemption. But first, Rain must survive the downside: a second assassin homing in on the target; the target’s consort-an alluring woman named Delilah with an agenda of her own; and the possibility that the entire mission is nothing but an elaborate setup. From the gorgeous beaches of Rio to the glitzy casinos of Macao to the gritty back streets of Hong Kong and Kowloon, Rain becomes a reluctant player in an international game far deadlier and more insidious than he has ever encountered before.

Book:Bagman

Bagman

Jay MacLarty

The job of a high-risk courier is very simple. You pick something up. You drop something off. The hard part is not getting killed.

When Kyra, the daughter of Big Jake Rynerson—one of the world’s wealthiest men—is kidnapped in the Galapagos Islands, professional courier Simon Leonidovich is hired to deliver the ransom. But playing bagman for a billionaire is not so simple—not when so many people stand to gain by Kyra’s disappearance, and not when someone close to Big Jake is playing for the wrong team. To complicate matters, Simon finds himself falling for Big Jake’s enticing and clever assistant, Caitlin Wells, though she may be the very one scheming to control the Rynerson empire.

But when the money drop gets botched, the stakes turn deadly for both Simon and Kyra. From the dark jungles of Colombia…[more]

Book:A Death in Vienna

A Death in Vienna

Daniel Silva

The sins of the past reverberate into the present, in an extraordinary novel by the new master of international suspense.

It was an ordinary-looking photograph. Just the portrait of a man. But the very sight of it chilled Allon to the bone.

Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to authenticate a painting, but the real object of his search becomes something else entirely: to find out the truth about the photograph that has turned his world upside down. It is the face of the unnamed man who brutalized his mother in the last days of World War II, during the Death March from Auschwitz. But is it really the same one? If so, who is he? How did he escape punishment? Where is he now?

Fueled by an intensity he has not felt in years, Allon cautiously begins to investigate; but with each layer that is stripped away, the greater the evil that is revealed, a web stretching across sixty years and thousands of lives. Soon, the quest for…[more]

Book:Paranoia

Paranoia: A Novel

Joseph Finder

Adam Cassidy is twenty-six and a low level employee at a high-tech corporation who hates his job. When he manipulates the system to do something nice for a friend, he finds himself charged with a crime. Corporate Security gives him a choice: prison—or become a spy in the headquarters of their chief competitor, Trion Systems.

They train him. They feed him inside information. Now, at Trion, he’s a star, skyrocketing to the top. He finds he has talents he never knew he possessed. He’s rich, drives a Porsche, lives in a fabulous apartment, and works directly for the CEO. He’s dating the girl of his dreams.

His life is perfect. And all he has to do to keep it that way is betray everyone he cares about and everything he believes in. …[more]

Book:Scarecrow

Scarecrow: A Shane Schofield Thriller

Matthew Reilly

There are fifteen targets, the finest warriors in the world—commandos, spies, terrorists. And they must all be dead by twelve noon, today. The price on their heads: almost $20 million each.

Among the names on the target list, one stands out. An enigmatic Marine named Shane Schofield, call-sign: Scarecrow.

Schofield is plunged into a headlong race around the world, pursued by a fearsome collection of international bounty hunters—including the “Black Knight,” a notoriously ruthless hunter who seems intent on eliminating only Schofield.

The race is on and the pace is frantic as Schofield fights for survival, in the process unveiling a vast international conspiracy and the terrible reason why he cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to live!” He led his men into hell in Ice Station. He protected the President against all odds in Area 7. This time it’s different. Because this time Scarecrow is the target.

Book:Whirlwind

Whirlwind: A Novel

Joseph Garber

Charlie McKenzie is the best at what he does, and what he does best of all is the CIA’s dirty work. At least he did until his bosses double-crossed him. Jailed and disgraced to cover up a mammoth intelligence blunder, Charlie wants to get even.

Opportunity knocks when Irina Kolodenkova, a young Russian spy, stumbles across a top-secret technology called Whirlwind, the most important military breakthrough since the atomic bomb. Charlie’s the only one with the very special skills needed to track her down and retrieve it. The desk jockeys who betrayed Charlie have no choice: they have to put him back on the job. But Charlie already knows too much. Once he recovers Whirlwind, his enemies plan to betray him again—this time for keeps.

They put a lethal South African soldier of fortune on Charlie’s trail. His orders: keep Charlie in your crosshairs until he finds Whirlwind, then take him down.

However, Charlie has plans of his own, and he is not going to be an easy kill. Quite the contrary…

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