cover image Anonymous Sources

Anonymous Sources

Mary Louise Kelly. Gallery, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4767-1554-4

NPR and BBC reporter Kelly's debut thriller about a terrorist sleeper cell with its sights on American annihilation rings eerily prescient in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The story begins with the mysterious death of Harvard graduate Thom Carlyle, who appears to have been shoved out of a window from the bell tower of the university's Eliot House. The incident sparks the attention of Alexandra James, a feisty reporter for The New England Chronicle, and takes her to the hallowed halls of England's Cambridge University, the highest levels of the Central Intelligence Agency and the underbelly of the White House. She chases zany, seemingly disparate leads that include "meeting men masquerading as English cricket players for tea, and swapping banana-bread recipes with loopy landladies, and stalking fruit exporters in Pakistan." But James eventually uncovers a plot that could lead to dire national security consequences %E2%80%94 all the while battling her own inner demons. Kelly's years as a political writer and intelligence correspondent covering wars, terrorism and nuclear powers have served her well, and she portrays James with authority in a smart, fun voice that will stir lust and envy among readers. The author leaves open a window on the final page that suggests a sequel much to the reader's delight. (June)