Code name: Jet
Twenty-eight-year-old Jet was once the Mossad's most lethal operative before faking her own death and burying that identity forever. But the past doesn't give up on its secrets easily.
When her new life on a tranquil island is shattered by a brutal attack, Jet must return to a clandestine existence of savagery and deception to save herself and those she loves. A gritty, unflinching roller-coaster of high-stakes twists and shocking turns, JET features a new breed of protagonist that breaks the mold.
Fans of Lisbeth Salander, SALT, and the Bourne trilogy will find themselves carried along at Lamborghini speed to a conclusion as surprising as the story's heroine is unconventional.
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Q & A w/ Russell Blake
Q: How would you describe JET?
Russell: The elevator pitch? Kill Bill meets Bourne. The longer version would be: JET follows the saga of a young woman who thought she had left a brutal covert life behind her, but finds herself having to go back into that world when she is attacked by enemies from her past. It's totally over-the-top, escapist fun, and not intended to be particularly realistic, any more than the Bond books were. More a non-stop action thrill ride where the heroine can totally kick serious ass.
Q: How does JET differ from your other novels?
R: I've never written anything as lightning-paced. It's completely and joyously overblown in the way a Tarantino film is. I wanted this to read like being in a scarab, slamming through the waves at ninety miles per hour - a rush that just doesn't stop. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. But having said that, what's weird about JET is that even though it's brimming with action, the use of language and artful description was a priority for me, and I think I struck a balance that's unusual and evocative. Whatever it is, it seems to work.
Q: JET's character is different than the other female protagonists you've written. What inspired her?
R: I got this idea when I was writing Silver Justice for a total take-no-prisoners female operative - sort of a female Jack Bauer crossed with James Bond, but way more deadly. From that idea came the seeds of an incredible story with more twists and surprises than I've ever tried for. But it also has a different sensibility. If there's such a thing as literary fiction action thrillers, I guess this might be it.
Q: Why the Mossad?
R: I wanted something that was exotic and had the reputation as highly effective, but wanted to avoid the usual CIA or KGB operative. And she's way too no-nonsense for MI6. That didn't leave a lot of choices. So the Mossad it was. I'd written an ex-Mossad operative once before in The Voynich Cypher & I think I sort of automatically leaned in that direction, and before I knew it the book was written.
Q: Your work has been described as cinematic. Why?
R: That's how I think. I see each episode or scene in my head, & then I write what I see. I try to provide enough depth so the reader is with me, but not so much that page flipping to get to the next good part is required. But I see each chapter as a scene - it's just how my brain works. I'm a creation of a modern world, raised on images & films, so I think that naturally affects my storytelling. Certainly the JET books are. Mission Impossible comes to mind.
Q: You mention Kill Bill and Bourne. How is this similar?
R: I loved Tarantino's take because it was so overblown in every way. Deliberately so. I wanted JET to read like that film played, but with a story more like Bourne. The idea of a female operative grappling with her past just captivated my imagination. You'll see why.