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Jericho's Fall by Stephen L. Carter

A CIA Thriller With a High Body Count

A review by Patrick Anderson

Jericho Ainsley, once the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is dying of cancer in his well-fortified mountaintop home in Colorado. Rebecca (Beck) DeForde, who was his mistress 15 years earlier, when she was 19 and he was in his 50s, is summoned to his bedside. She is greeted by his two daughters: a Hollywood producer who hates her and a nun who purports to be her friend. They warn that the cancer has spread to their father's brain and that, despite moments of lucidity, he is mad. Jericho himself urges her to flee because an unidentified "they" will try to kill her and his daughters, too. But he also predicts that his close friend and CIA associate Dak Agadakos "is coming to the house to make me tell him certain things. After that, he plans to kill me."

Thus begins Stephen L. Carter's Jericho's Fall, an odd but readable mixture of spy thriller, literary novel and haunted-house mystery. In an author's note, Carter declares that the book's "only purpose is entertainment...

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