That statement may sound a bit extreme, but then Alex Klear isn’t talking about having engaged in aggressive telemarketing or selling door-to-door. No, Klear is one of those people who works in the shadows conducting operations of questionable legality on behalf of the government.
The opening of Albert Ashforth’s The Rendition finds Klear in the Balkans on just such a mission. He and two other operatives are there on a rendition, which is really just a euphemism for a government sanctioned kidnapping of a foreign national.
Having been thrown together at the last minute by those higher up the chain – and severely undermanned in Klear’s opinion – conditions are ripe for the mission to fail. How spectacularly it would fail, however, Klear couldn’t possibly have anticipated, as he ends up captured by the very person his team was sent to extract.
He’s tortured for two days by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) before finally being sprung by a hastily arranged rescue team, at which point he decides his days as a covert operative are officially over. Except, of course, they’re not. Nearly a year later he’s lured back for another mission with the promise that it will allow him a measure of redemption, and revenge. Turns out a U.S. operative is being held on suspicion of murder in a high security prison in Germany, and Klear is assured that it is somehow related to his failed rendition.