The terrorist El Cabecilla ("the conductor") has exploited the full abilities of his plastic surgeon in an attempt to avoid the Mossad. But the Russians have caught up with him, and the price of their silence is for him to capture a wealthy American on the verge of making a successful bid for Russian oil. This thriller by the author of the Nick Polo mystery series is a perfectly enjoyable action-filled summer read?as long as you don't set your sights too high. The characters are familiar cliches: El Cabecilla is a psychopath (he was raped by priests at school); his sidekick, a vicious lesbian; the hero, a borderline alcoholic cop still recovering from the death of his family. The body count is enormously high, which tends to emphasize the villains' nastiness even as it undermines their credibility as brilliant criminal minds.