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The Last Run by Greg Rucka
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Synopsis: Tara Chace is ready to get out of the spy business. Her reactions have slowed, her body aches, and she has a child to raise. However, the re-emergence of Falcon in Iran puts her back into the field and nearly retires her, permanently.
Review: As always, Rucka delivers a tense and realistic story. Insights into culture and spy-craft add to the enjoyment. ( )
  DrLed | Dec 1, 2013 |
Good holiday read. ( )
  lauren.castan | Apr 3, 2013 |
Easily the least of Greg Rucka's three Queen & Country prose novels (the other two being A Gentleman's Game and Private Wars), The Last Run features English covert agent par excellence, Tara Chace, on a solo mission to pull out an Iranian operative who hasn't been heard from since the Revolution of 1979; typically, complications ensue, and, as is typical with the Q&C series (which first saw light as a comic book series published by Oni Press), the deadliest enemies, the worst treachery, are to be found not in whatever theatre Tara and the other agents of MI6 called "Minders" find themselves, but within MI6's headquarters itself, as well as Whitehall and Langley, Virginia, home of "the cousins," the CIA.

Though The Last Run is a bit light compared to most of Tara's other assignments (it's also by far the shortest of the prose Q&C novels), it's still a cut above the average thriller; given the steady drip-drip-drip of largely speculative articles over the last four or five years in publications such as The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine and The Atlantic pondering whether the U.S. and/or Israel will stage a preemptive strike against Iran's putative nuclear weapons facilities (and/or stage a full-scale war against Iran...), the events of The Last Run can't help but feel like a sideshow. It seems to me to be a major omission on Rucka's part that none of this speculation is ever once alluded to; he also fails to mention Iran's nuclear weapons program. Given how smart a writer Rucka has proven himself to be, I can't help but wonder if he was trusting most of his readers to supply this background information for themselves; that might work for current readers, but it seems to me that he runs the risk of TLR dating rather badly for readers of ten or more years into the future.

Nonetheless, The Last Run is a nice showcase for Chace's skills and toughness -- the physical trauma described here is likely to make all but the most bloodthirsty of gore crows cringe with sympathy -- and a good reminder of just why so many readers are in awe of, and at least a little bit in love with, her. This could very well be the prequel to a new Q&C comic book series; I sincerely hope so, even though the laughable state of my "disposable income" will likely have me gnashing my teeth when or if it appears. ( )
  uvula_fr_b4 | Dec 24, 2010 |
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Burned out from a decade in Special Section clandestine ops, Tara Chance applies for a desk job so that she can spend more time with her daughter only to be drawn into a mission involving the Ayatollah's son's request to defect.

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