Surface to Air is Malko Linge novel by the prolific Gérard de Villiers. It concerns a carpet merchant from New York City whose family in the Pakistan has been killed by a U.S. drone strike. The carpet merchant wants revenge so he contacts jihadists. Then he shares his plan with the jihadists: he wants to shoot down Air Force One with President Obama in it. But, in order to pull off this scheme of revenge, the carpet merchant needs an Igla-S–a sophisticated Russian surface-to-air missile. Since many Russian weapons find their way onto the Black Market, the jihadists agree to acquire one.
Complications occur as the FBI decides to aid the carpet merchant’s mission in order to lure the jihadists into a trap. But, much of the mission will take place in Russia where the FBI is supposed to defer to the CIA. Bureaucratic infighting ensues. The CIA brings in their favorite contract agent, Malko Linge, who nearly dies as he’s ambushed by Russian elements. If you’re a fan of spy novels with action, you’ll find a lot to like with Surface to Air. For my reviews of other Malko novels, check out Checkpoint Charlie here, Chaos in Kabul here, Madmen of Benghazi here, and Revenge of the Kremlin here. GRADE: B