Executive Power (Mitch Rapp #4) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Executive Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #4
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 412
Words: 134K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

CIA field agent Mitch Rapp’s cover has been blown following his last assignment, preventing Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons. Rapp receives public acknowledgment by the president in response to the latest Congressional leak to the media. Though the praise is of the highest quality, the President might as well have placed a bulls-eye on Rapp’s chest and that of his loved ones by singling him out as the most important person in the fight against terrorism. The spotlight makes the former covert operator an ideal international target for eradication by terrorists as the symbol he has become.

Rapp moves from CIA operative duties to that of a counter-terrorism bureaucrat. As special advisor on counter-terrorism to CIA director Dr. Irene Kennedy, Rapp uncomfortably sits in an office. However, everything changes when radical Islamic terrorists ambush Navy SEALs on a top-secret rescue mission in the Philippines. The leak had to be in either the State Department or the Philippine diplomatic corps, but nobody knows for sure. However, worse yet is that someone is trying to cause a Jihad on a scale never before seen and that unknown invisible individual is close to achieving the goal with only a too visible Rapp in the way.

Rapp leads a team to avenge that loss by defeating the Philippine terrorist network that killed two SEAL team members and rescuing the American hostages. In order to successfully accomplish this mission he must keep its existence from the turncoats who betrayed those who went before him. The coincidental plot-line has forces plotting to upset the tenuous balance in the Middle East’s geopolitical situation. A flamboyant Saudi Prince, who is banished from the Kingdom, elicits the help of a Palestinian assassin to murder the leaders of terrorist cells as well as Saudi and Palestinian Ambassadors in the hopes of dissolving US support for Israel and the eventual establishment of an official Palestinian state.

The assassin completes his tasks and has Israel, the US and the UN exactly where he wants them. Unfortunately for him, Rapp finds out who he is, what he has done and leaks some of the assassins talks with Israel to the Saudi Prince, who kills the assassin. Rapp then in turn kills the prince as an object lesson to other Saudi Royals to stay out of the “terrorism as a hobby” business.

My Thoughts:

This was another enjoyable read but the dual storylines never connected and so it almost felt like two different books mashed into one. I have to admit, I wish the author had simply concentrated on one or the other and expanded it to fill the book.

The palestinian assassin storyline could have been fantastic and I was waiting for him and Rapp to duke it out assassino a assassino style. So it was a letdown the way things went. The biggest thing is that Rapp’s cover is permanently blown and so his days of secret assassinations are pretty much done. And yet there are a lot more books to go so I’m left wondering how the author is going to keep the interest going. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and find out, hahahahaa.

The author handles Rapp being recently married very well. I was wondering how he was going to deal with the relational side of things and he doesn’t shy away from it. Rapp and his wife Anna have a huge blowout about him going back into the field, against orders no less and the fact that he’d been wounded made it even worse. Thankfully, Rapp isn’t a pigheaded jerk and he cares about his wife and her feelings and realizes that he is going to have to change some things if he wants their marriage to work. It was so refreshing and encouraging to see a character in a book place the needs of their marriage before their own personal desires or using “work” as an excuse. We will have to see how this part of the overall storyline works out in future books because it can not turn into a cycle of Mitch Rapp doing what he wants, his wife blowing up at him, making up and then promising to do better.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this series is progressing. It is book 4 and I have no real complaints. The author hasn’t pulled any boneheaded moves but simply tells a good action/adventure story. Keeping my fingers crossed he can keep that track record.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Separation of Power (Mitch Rapp #3) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Separation of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #3
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 378
Words: 133.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

About a month after the events in the previous book, CIA Director Thomas Stansfield has succumbed to cancer and has chosen Dr. Irene Kennedy, The director of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, to take his place as director. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Clark, a corrupt Republican senator and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is making plans to prevent Kennedy from becoming the director of the CIA. His plan involves embarrassing her before she can be confirmed for the position, and handpick a new director and have them open up “ECHELON”, a global surveillance program, and give its secrets to his investors in Silicon Valley, who will then help him get elected to become president. His original plan to kill Rapp and embarrass the CIA failed, so he begins the process of his new plan.

Mitch Rapp is called in to visit Kennedy to talk about Peter Cameron, the CIA officer who attempted to have him killed in Germany, but was killed by an assassin before Rapp could capture him. He and Kennedy watch surveillance footage that captured the face of the assassin. Rapp realizes that the assassin is Donatella Rahn, an Israeli assassin and Rapp’s ex-girlfriend. Kennedy instructs him to take his girlfriend, Anna Rielley, to Milan and propose to her, and then go visit Donatella to learn who hired her to kill Peter Cameron. Meanwhile, Clark visits his accomplice, Mossad director Ben Freidman at the Israeli Embassy, who has been helping him become president in exchange for more aid to Israel. At the meeting, Clark orders Ben to assassinate Donatella, who he hired to kill Peter.

Later that day, Ben visits President Xavier Hayes, Kennedy, and General Flood, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of staff, at the White House. It is there he informs them that Saddam Hussein, with the help of North Korea, is only a few weeks away from acquiring three functioning nuclear weapons. He also informs them that the facility for making these weapons is hidden under a massive hospital in Baghdad, and that if the Americans won’t take action, than they will do it themselves. Seeing as how an Israeli response could lead to nuclear war, The President and his team start to come up with ways to destroy the facility and the nukes.

At the same time, Mitch and Anna arrive in Milan, and after a day of touring the city, Rapp goes to visit Donatella. In Washington, Clark persuades his accomplice, Albert Rudin, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to investigate Kennedy for corruption and promises him evidence before her confirmation ceremony. In Milan, Rapp can’t get Donatella to tell him who hired her, but realizes they are being followed. When they arrive at her apartment, Donatella is ambushed by awaiting Mossad operatives, but manages to kill them thanks to Rapp’s warning. After Rapp promises her protection in America, Donatella confesses that Ben had hired her to kill Peter. Rapp brings Donatella to he and Anna’s hotel room, where she accuses Rapp of having an affair,and she storms off before he can explain.

In Washington, D.C., General Flood concocts a plan to insert a Delta Force team into Baghdad, disguised as a presidential motorcade, and infiltrate the facility under the cover of a U.S bombing campaign across Iraq in order to steal the nukes. But Kennedy strongly recommends Rapp to lead the operation. Elsewhere in Washington, Jonathan Brown, deputy director of the CIA, meets with Norb Steveken, the head of an investigative firm hired by hank and Rudin to investigate Kennedy. Brown hands off classified information on Orion Team, a secret counterterrorism team led by Kennedy, who Rapp is a member of. Rapp returns to America and is read in on the plan to infiltrate Baghdad. He agrees to the mission and comes up with the idea of impersonating Uday Hussein, Saddam’s favorite son, in order to gain access to the facility. As they prepare for the mission, Rudin reveals the existence of Mitch Rapp and the Orion Team on Meet The press and implicates Kennedy of violating international law, throwing the confirmation process into chaos.

President Hayes orders the bombing campaign against Iraq, which helps Rapp and the Delta team to successfully enters Baghdad. Rapp and the Delta team, disguised as SRG soldiers, are able to enter the facility and steal the nukes. As they fend off enemy fire, they destroy the facility, kidnap the head North Korean scientist, and escape Iraq with the nukes. After they return to the U.S safely, President Hayes reveals the success of the operation and confirms Rapp’s existence by explaining Rapp’s action in Iraq. Rapp returns to his home and apologizes to Anna, and after he does this, he retires from his role as an assassin and proposes to her. His plan having failed due to the fact Kennedy is looked at as a hero, Clark kills Rudin by pushing him off his balcony, making it look like a suicide.

When the Israeli prime minister comes to Washington with Ben Freidman and Yasser Arafat, Rapp and the president interrogate Ben and threaten to kill him. As a result of this, Ben reveals Clarks role in the week’s events. Several weeks after this, Clark is killed by Rapp and Donatella at a bar in D.C, making it look like an apparent heart attack.

My Thoughts:

This was a good wrapup to the initial Mitch Rapp trilogy. Senator Clark (what’s with bad senators? They make horrible presidents and should know better than to try to be president. A senator is a pack group animal, while a president is a lone wolf with the decisions resting squarely on his shoulders) and his plans to discredit the current administration no matter the cost fails and in the end Rapp takes care of him. Permanently. It was satisfying to read.

The thing that I enjoyed that I didn’t think I would was the relational drama between Rapp and his girlfriend. She’s a big time reporter and has to stick her nose into everything and Rapp is beyond secretive about everything on general principle. It comes to a head here and they have a stormy stomp off the stage I’m not going to marry you scene. I really liked how the author brought these conflicting personality types and responsibilities against each other. They are real issues these 2 are going to have to deal with if they want their marriage to last. What I didn’t like was how feelingz and wuv, true wuv overcame all in the end as they get engaged. What these 2 characters need is some serious marriage counseling, as their life paths are going to continue to clash if they can’t figure out how to make it work. I wanted to shake both of them by the scruff of their necks and tell them to go to Pastor Peckham. Here’s to hoping the author uses this dustup to make them examine the issues in their lives and not just as fodder. * fingers crossed *

If the series had ended right here, I would have been satisfied. However, I am very glad that the adventures continue. I need some macho man reading without asshattery arrogance and Mitch Rapp fits the bill perfectly.

There is a movie called American Assassin but it appears to be based on book 10 or 11 of the series, so I’m not even tempted to watch it yet. Who know what kind of spoilers, and probably WRONG spoilers to boot, it contains? I’ll wait til I’ve read the book and then see if my library or Prime has it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Crusade (Saint Tommy, NYPD #5) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Crusade
Series: Saint Tommy, NYPD #5
Author: Declan Finn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 171
Words: 53.5K



Synopsis:

From the Publishers & Me

Still working abroad, Detective Tommy Nolan has a hot tip that leads him to Germany. Women and children are disappearing from Catholic Bavaria. The local police have their hands tied. Tommy is the last hope for answers.

Yet again, Tommy is in over his head. What starts as a sex trafficking ring turns into a terrorist conspiracy to unleash Hell on Europe. To stop it, Tommy must fight Nazi vampires, terrorists, and a swarm of succubi who want him as their next meal.

With the help of a local german police officer, a jewish rabbi with the secret of the golem at his fingertips and a group of bavarian special forces armed with paintball guns filled with holy water, it’s up to Tommy to put a stop to the rite that will raise Asmodeous the demon. Unfortunately, Tommy doesn’t get there in time and a hell gate is opened. This allows Jade, the succubus who ran the sex trafficking ring to gain incredible amounts of power and become a low level demon herself. She and Tommy duke it out, Tommy wins and they find Asmodeous trapped within a circle. The battle exorcist from the previous book is left to deal with him.

Tommy adopts one of the girls rescued from the sex ring and it turns out she has some sort of psychic powers. With his wife just having given birth to his own biological daughter, Tommy’s family is growing by leaps and bounds,

My Thoughts:

I think the first thing I need to say is that this book doesn’t shy away from some very tough subjects. Sex trafficking is not only happening in Africa or the Middle East or South America. It is happening here in the United States and in all of Europe as well. It is pervasive and evil and Finn doesn’t sugar coat it. He’s not graphic nor describing the horrors in detail, but one woman is raped to death off page as an object lesson to the other prisoners. With that said, lets talk about the more pleasant aspects of the book.

Tommy gets to fight nazi vampire muslim terrorists. No joke. Vampires, unfortunately, play a very small part. They simply crumble to dust when touched by Saint Tommy. The author does go into speculation about pre-history, much as he did in the previous book about the stone and vampires are grouped into that era of lore. There are some seriously cool fight scenes but that leads into the one thing that made me knock half a star off the rating.

Finn is constantly making pop-culture references throughout this book. It was apropos and funny but those things have a very limited shelf life and I don’t like them in the books I read. I find it cheapens them. Most of it was John Wick related this time. I love the movie John Wick and got it all, but in several years, even if the movie has cult status sticking power, people simply aren’t going to know what Finn is referencing. Then there was the golem mecha vs the dragon succubi and I had to roll my eyes at that fight. It was just to over the top for my taste.

I’ve got one more book available to me in this series then I have to decide if I want to continue or not. Finn is up to book 8 and from the reviews I’ve seen he does have an end game plan, but it won’t be for several books after 8. Upon reflection it would seem that my best option is to stop after book 6 and let him finish the series. Good thing I had this little conversation with myself!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Third Option (Mitch Rapp #2) ★★★✬☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission


Title: The Third Option
Series: Mitch Rapp #2
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 357
Words: 128K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Mitch Rapp is sent on a highly sensitive mission in northern Germany to assassinate Count Heinrich Hagenmiller V, a powerful arms dealer who has been selling weapons to Saddam Hussein and other enemies of the United States. Rapp successfully slays Hagenmiller, only to be betrayed by his mission companions “Jane and Tom Hoffman”, who attempt to kill Rapp by shooting him twice in the chest, not knowing his jacket was lined with kevlar which absorbed the rounds and knocked him down. Jane (the one that shot him) quickly stages the scene to implicate Rapp and then flees the location with Tom. A shocked Rapp eventually awakes. As a result of his fall, a gash in his head has left a small pool of his blood on the floor. Not wanting to leave the forensic evidence behind, he sets the room on fire and quickly escapes.

Back in Washington, D.C., the situation in Germany quickly becomes known to politicians and officials, with a few trying to use the situation to their own advantage. Democratic Congressman Albert Rudin is not fooled by the CIA’s denial of involvement, and argues that it is further proof that the CIA is bad for America and the world, and should be shut down. Henry “Hank” Clark, who is a corrupt, ambitious, and calculating Republican U.S. senator with his eye on the Presidency, is the one that ordered the hit on Rapp, hoping that his dead body would embarrass President Robert Xavier Hayes, and ruin the career of CTC Director, Dr. Irene Kennedy. Clark, along with Rudin and Secretary of State Charles Middleton, are in an alliance to stop Dr. Kennedy from succeeding the dying Thomas Stansfield as Director. Unbeknownst to Rudin and Middleton, Clark dispatches a group of contract killers led by “Professor” Peter Cameron, to initiate a widespread blood-purge that will eliminate any person that can leave a paper trail back to him.

Rapp hides in France and gathers his thoughts. He believes it is possible that his boss, Dr. Irene Kennedy, the Director of the Counter Terrorism Center and “friend”, ordered the Hoffmans to assassinate him in order to cover the situation up. Rapp eventually returns to Washington and confronts her and her boss, the CIA Director, Thomas Stansfield at his house. Also found in the room was retired SEAL Team Six Commander, Scott Coleman. With gun drawn, Rapp demands answers; after a brief discourse between him and his bosses, Rapp comes to realize that they had nothing to do with the attempt on his life.

Rapp learns that many of his colleagues are being killed and that his girlfriend Anna Rielly has been kidnapped by the assassins. They kidnapped her in order to set a death trap for Rapp. The Hoffmans, (AKA The Jansens) are assassinated outside their home by Cameron. Rapp, along with Coleman and a few other agents, eventually rescue Anna, killing all of Cameron’s men in the process. Cameron, who was talking to one of his men on the phone while the assault was executed, quickly learns that all has failed. Rapp contacts Cameron and pledges to kill him unless he confesses the identity of his employer. Cameron refuses to answer and quickly makes plans to leave the country. However, only moments before Rapp reaches Cameron, he is killed by an Italian assassin named Donatella Rahn, who was hired by Clark.

The president soon learns about the coup d’état against him, and summons two of the main movers of the conspiracy, Rudin and Middleton. The president lambastes them in two separate meetings for betraying their party. He then demands them to tell him everything they know, so he may find out who ordered the hit on Rapp. Both of the men do not give the president any useful answers. Rudin is left without power within the Democratic Congressional caucus and Middleton is told he will be fired as Secretary of State. Shortly afterward Middleton is found dead in his apartment, ruled a suicide. It was Clark that ordered the hit, but pretends to know now nothing about it, even to his close friend Jonathan Brown, the Deputy Director of the CIA who hates both Stansfield and Dr. Kennedy. Clark announces to a shocked Brown that he is backing Dr. Kennedy’s nomination, but assures him that Kennedy “will never make it through the confirmation process”.

My Thoughts:

This was a more complicated than the previous book and dealt with the political side of things a bit more than I wanted. Of course, there was still a boat load of action and assassinations going on, so I didn’t feel like I had been cheated.

With his new girlfriend, Rapp has to deal with the entanglements that go along with it, voluntary or not. He gets a taste of “normal” life only to have her used against him, which makes him that much more determined to get a “normal” life. Near the end of the book, he’s offered a job as an “analyst” for the Center, ala Jack Ryan. That would keep him out of the field and the danger but still allow the Center to make use of his experience and skills. I don’t see that happening though.

Of course, what I’m afraid of is that the author is going to use the girlfriend as fodder and turn her into a plot point for revenge or something. While it might have worked that way for Mack Bolan, I don’t want to see Mitch Rapp go that route. It’s too easy and convenient and I really hope Vince Flynn can do better. And he better make Mitch better than that puling pig, that scumsucking slime, that piece of excrement, Scot Harvath. If I have to choose between Mack Bolan and Scot Harvath though, I’ll choose Bolan every time. The Executioner is a man’s man while Harvath is just an arrogant asshat.

On a side note, whenever I read Irene Kennedy’s name, all I can see is the CIA Director from the movie RED.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

City of Shadows (Saint Tommy, NYPD #3) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: City of Shadows
Series: Saint Tommy, NYPD #3
Author: Declan Finn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 160
Words: 49K



Synopsis:

Tommy, now working for the Vatican as a spy for the New York Police Department, is assigned to go to London, as a new level of darkness seems to be hovering over the city. His “official” assignment is to help recover a lost jewel that was stolen from a museum. With known associates of an imam from the local mosque being shown on video as the ones committing the crime, Tommy thinks it’s going to be an easy peasy piece of cake.

Then the imam accuses him of racism. The cops take his guns away. The cops try to arrest him. He’s attacked by a group of young muslims with bottles of acid. He’s attacked by muslims with what appear to be super powers. He’s attacked by the shadows themselves. And the clients, a Power Couple of low royalty, who hired him to recover the jewel accuse him being in cahoots with whoever stole the jewel. Not a good time for Tommy.

This jewel, according to legend, was given to Pharoah by a god and is supposed to contain enough power, once properly charged with hatred, despair and death, to destroy a city, or control it. The imam wants to wipe London off the map, the Power Couple want to control England and Tommy wants the jewel destroyed. By the end of the book nobody gets what they want.

Tommy does save London, cleanses the jewel with a baptismal font’s worth of holy water and gives it over to be hidden away in the archives of the Vatican.

My Thoughts:

This was probably the most action packed book so far. There’s a riot scene where the muslims are out burning, looting and raping and Tommy bilocates many, many, many times to save anyone he can and ends up dying over and over and over in horribly gruesome ways. They don’t just fade away, they are him and he feels it.

The author also makes a lot of hay, with my FULL support, about the ridiculousness of the London “knife” laws they have on the books. The main point wasn’t that Authority had taken away the citizens right to defend themselves but that they had voluntarily given it up. It was depressing. At the same time Finn makes sure to focus on the fact that the real fight isn’t against people but against the powers and principalities of this world, ie, demons. Tommy never makes the mistake of making even the iman his enemy. Right up until they confront a trio of the angelic host he tries to give them the chance to repent and at the end, they simply reject it. And suffer the wrath of archangels in consequence.

I did get a good laugh when he takes a poke at Evangelicals as self-righteous know it alls, because you’re going to meet people like that and I’ve met them. The problem is, he ignores the fact that those same exact kind of people also are part of the roman catholic church. And I’d like to make one point here, while this is advertised as a “Catholic Adventure” series, it is really a “Roman Catholic Adventure” series. While Finn would say there is no difference, as a 7th Day Adventist, there is a world of difference.

I continue to enjoy this action packed series with a more realistic look at what urban fantasy would look like from a Christian perspective. It also makes me thankful for the relative peace and quiet that I enjoy where I live.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

One Killer Force (Delta Force #4) ★★☆☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: One Killer Force
Series: Delta Force #4
Author: Dalton Fury
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 301
Words: 107K



Synopsis:

From Kobo.com

Still recovering from his near fatal wounds suffered at the Yellow Creek Nuclear Plant, Delta Force Commander, Major Kolt “Racer” Raynor, is thrust into a new battle with some of the toughest killers he’s ever faced – US Navy SEALs. Government austerity measures have the Joint Chiefs of Staff contemplating the unthinkable – combining Delta Force and the SEALs into a single unit: One Killer Force. In this installment of Dalton Fury’s Delta Force series, Kolt’s career is in jeopardy and worst of all, the final say rests in the hands of men who have reasons to want to see Kolt gone.

Recovered from her own wounds, Cindy “Hawk” Bird is closing in on becoming the first official female operator in the history of the US military…She only has to survive an insertion into the most repressive regime on earth.

Meanwhile, a new terrorist threat looms on the horizon in the form of not one, but possibly two mushroom clouds. Kolt earns his call sign as the action has him racing to the world’s hottest combat zones from Syria to Ukraine on hunter-killer missions to eliminate the terrorists before they can enact their deadly mission.

Half a world away, a spy deep in the secretive North Korean regime sends a desperate call for help. A new danger to world peace and security is growing in the heart of the increasingly unstable Communist country and no amount of sanctions or political negotiations are going to stop it. Violently applied force is needed, and needed now before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

In my Currently Reading post about this book I stated I wouldn’t be continuing the series even if the book ended up being much better. Well, it wasn’t much better, hence the 2 stars. Plus, I found out the author died back in ’16 and there was only 1 more book anyway, so I’m sitting pretty.

This was as much about the political side of the military as it was about killing the bad guys. Reading about “Points” (“appointed” military people) always annoys me and the whole “Git da wimminz in’ta Delter” was just more than I wanted to deal with.

Overall, this series has left a very “bleh” taste in my mouth. I didn’t particularly hate it, but neither did I truly enjoy it. It felt, and I suspect it was meant to be, very “true to reality”. That is what the radio and tv are for, for me.

At least now I can go to my Calibre library and pick the next reading selection to replace this. At least that process is always enjoyable.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Infernal Affairs (Saint Tommy, NYPD #3) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Infernal Affairs
Series: Saint Tommy, NYPD #3
Author: Declan Finn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 182
Words: 51K



Synopsis:

From Amazon.com & Me

Detective Tommy Nolan is having a bad day. Gunfights are no longer a rare occurrence in his life. Not since he caught a serial killer demon and destroyed a death cult. He’s already had to relocate his family once. If things don’t settle down soon, he might have to leave New York for good.

And the NYPD can’t keep ignoring all the chaos and slaughter around Tommy. Add a murdered priest, a SWAT team raid, an internal affairs investigation and a million-dollar bounty into the mix, and Tommy’s whole week is ruined.

Every demon, monster, and gangbanger in New York and New Jersey are crawling out of the pit to claim the reward on Tommy’s head. It’s hard enough to fight demons when they’re breaking the law. But what can you do when they’re hiding behind it?

Turns out the Mayor is the mysterious Warlock and he wants Tommy dead to pay off his spiritual debts, of which the mayor has run up a lot of. With enough power, the mayor can turn New York City into a living hell and pay for his powers with the misery until the end of time.

Tommy’s not about to let that happen! When the mayor takes a direct hand in attacking Saint Tommy, the bodies fly. But when the mayor’s debt comes due, Hell doesn’t care if he has Tommy in his grasp; the bill is due NOW and nothing is going to stop the demons from taking payment.

Tommy is saved to fight another day.

My Thoughts:

Another great action packed volume. And we get vampires. Well, to be honest, Tommy sees them and when they touch his blood they go up in smoke, so they disappear. I’m hoping we get more of them in later books. You get some demonic drones too.

It has been a couple of months since the previous book and life for Tommy and his family has settled down. Once the bounty goes out though, Tommy puts his family with D (the “good” criminal) and goes hell for leather with his partner. When he realizes he can’t single handedly take down the Warlock due to the scumbag hiding behind the law, Tommy brings in the Feds. This has the affect of bringing Tommy to the attention of a single individual who seems to be doing what Tommy does, but on a national or international scale. Definitely opens up the literary vistas for us to explore.

Another thing I like is how short these are. At under 200 pages, I can read them on a weekend afternoon or a snow day and still have time left over to start the next book in my rotation. Makes me feel like I’m A Powerful Book Lord (more than I already am I mean).

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp #1) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Transfer of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #1
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 458
Words: 168K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.com

Rapp is introduced while he is performing a covert operation in Iran and he discovers a possible terrorist attack planned for the nation’s capital to happen in the near future. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Anna Reilly is starting her first day as a White House correspondent for NBC. It also happens to be the day where the terrorist, using a secret entrance, takes over the White House and holds it hostage. The president, who barely escaped the hostage situation, remains trapped in the unfinished bomb shelter. With the vice president using this opportunity as commander in chief to glorify his political career by being lenient towards the terrorist demands, Rapp must find a way to fight the terrorists from the inside of the White House. It is here where he saves Anna Reilly from being raped by one of the terrorists and their relationship, which will be seen throughout the later books, begins.

Several Navy SEALs sneak into the White House while Rapp eliminates the terrorists, and saves the hostages and the president. The leader of the terrorist group manages to escape the White House while detonating his strategically placed explosives. He is later found in South America only to be killed by Rapp

My Thoughts:

This was a thoroughly enjoyable macho man book without the macho-ness dragging along a boatload of jerkitis. I hate when testosterone turns to stupidity. That was my main issue with the Scott Harvath series (which I touched on in the Currently Reading & Quote post last week). I did go into this a bit gingerly because of that. Even 4 years later Harvath sticks in my mind as an icon of douchebaggery. Thankfully, Mitch Rapp doesn’t seem to be that way. While he’s not a smooth tongued political serpent, he doesn’t go out of his way to be a jerk either.

I am a little concerned with the romance angle. Most Operators aren’t the kind of people who can focus and do what needs to be done AND have a perfectly balanced family life. While I’m rooting for Rapp and Reilly to work out I’m not letting it become a big thing in my mind. That way if it doesn’t work out or she dies or becomes a terrorist or WAS a terrorist the entire time, I won’t be torn up about it.

I’m also currently reading the Delta Force novels by Dalton Fury and that has given me a lot of background into certain terms and processes used by teams like Delta, that while not necessary to completely understand here, certainly make for a fuller reading. In the final assault on the White House Flynn talks about small helicopters loaded up with 4 Delta members on the skids. It’s a 2 sentence description that by itself you just kind of read over. But Dalton references the practice in much fuller detail in his books and so I was able to transpose the knowledge from that to this. Not a big thing but reading books like these are all about the experience and that made for a fuller experience. I’m happy about that.

One word of warning. There is a scene where Anna is going to be raped by one of the terrorists. She isn’t because Rapp steps in. However, if reading about attempted rape is something that bothers you, you should be aware of that. I’m not a fan of reading about that situation and should it be used again I’ll have to think hard about the series. But it made sense for the situation (ie, it wasn’t thrown in as titillation), wasn’t graphic and in the end, doesn’t happen because a good man puts a stop to it.

The title refers to the Transfer of Power from an incapacitated President to the Vice President. Said VP is a real scumsucking politician being advised by an even worse scumsucking politician and they both get their just desserts by the end of the book. Too bad real life can’t follow certain parts of this book.

I’ve got 17 more Mitch Rapp books to read by Flynn. Flynn died and another author stepped in at book 13 or so, so we’ll see how the series goes. Sometimes a series is long because it is good and sometimes it is long because it is pablum for an undiscerning audience. I am pulling for the Good option here!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Full Assault Mode (Delta Force #3) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Full Assault Mode
Series: Delta Force #3
Author: Dalton Fury
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 335
Words: 121.5K



Synopsis:

From Kobo.com

When SEAL Team Six killed Osama bin Laden, they pulled a treasure trove of intelligence on planned attacks on U.S. soil. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s new leader, is activating his most trusted (and deadliest) terrorists to carry out his newest plot: to detonate a bomb inside one of the sixty-four commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. in an attack ten times worse than 9/11, causing radiological fallout that would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans.

The President wants answers quickly, and after Kolt Raynor saved his life a few months earlier, he knows Delta Force is fully capable. But Kolt is on the verge of getting forced out of JSOC for disobeying orders in Pakistan—and when he’s offered a slot in Tungsten, an ultra-secret deep-cover organization, he jumps at the chance. Now his task is to infiltrate al Qaeda and prevent this deep-cover terror cell from making their plot a reality before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

The above synopsis isn’t that full because I didn’t care enough to write out any more and what Kobo included was good enough. Needless to say, there was a lot more involved than what was described. In fact, by the time I was done with this book I was exhausted myself and beginning to think that maybe Superman needed to take a few lessons from Kolt Raynor.

The book starts out with Raynor locking horns with his new boss and disobeying direct orders so that Raynor can rescue a fellow Delta Operator. This also allows him to bag a big time terrorist and get some much needed info to Agencies like the CIA, etc. It has the bad effect of putting him into direct conflict with his superiors which leads to him being “re-evaluated”. We all know what that means.

That opens up Raynor to be recruited into Tungsten though. If Delta Force is a black ops, then Tungsten is blacker than black AND they can operate on American soil. Think Treadstone without the brainwashing from the Jason Bourne franchise. Raynor gets involved with helping terrorists and I have to admit, I was wondering if he was going to cross a line. Thankfully he didn’t but that was because he really played Superman.

In the final attack on a Nuclear Power Plant, Raynor figures out that the terrorists are actually planning three levels of attacks, so as to distract and confuse anyone responding. Not only does he figure it out, he singlehandedly deals with them all, WHILE being fired upon by the security forces at the Power Plant. I was expecting a Dagwood sandwich in terms of heroics and this book felt like my order was Supersized without me wanting that.

That “too much action” (which if I’m being honest I wouldn’t have believed possible to be a problem for me in a bleeding Delta Force Military Action/Adventure book!) was one of the reasons this didn’t get a higher rating. The other reason was the inclusion of Miss Delta Force, codename Hawk. Mainly because there were some small but not subtle “romance vibes” between her and Raynor. I don’t care if it’s realistic or not, keep your filthy romance out of my action books please.

After writing all that I had to sit back and make sure this was actually a 3 star read. It was. While I might have complained about Action Fatigue, that is 1000% better than complaining about a LACK of action in a book like this. For example, Hawk, the female operative, gets captured in her civvies and ends up putting 2inches of her high heel through one of the terrorist’s skull. How awesome is that?!? That is what I expect from a series called Delta Force.

Another thing that I realized that I liked, was the whole Group Dynamics. Usually, I’m a single hero kind of guy, none of this group stuff for me. But when Raynor went on his own in Tungsten, I realized I really liked how the Delta Force Operators worked together. They weren’t a group of single heroes, but a real unit. Personally, I hope Raynor goes back to Delta Force in the next book. We’ll see though.

And holy tabascoman, did I write a lot more than I intended! See you tomorrow.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Death Cult (Saint Tommy, NYPD #2) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Death Cult
Series: Saint Tommy, NYPD #2
Author: Declan Finn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 184
Words: 50.5K





Synopsis:

Even though Tommy defeated the demon in the previous book, the cultists who raised it are still at large and very unhappy that Tommy stopped them in their tracks.

Tommy is in the process of moving out from his old house with his family when they are attacked one night by what can only be described as zombies. Tommy realizes the cult is after him and his family and begins investigating.

Once again his investigating brings him into contact with the “Medical Facilities” where abortions are performed, whether the patient wants it or not. Tommy tracks down truck loads of discarded baby bodies which the cultists are using in their satanic rituals, which include eating said babies.

With pressure from the Mayor, Tommy is unsanctioned and has to go after the cult without police backup. Once the cult kidnaps his son, Tommy realizes he can’t wait either. With help from a gang, Tommy and those who believe in his Wonder Worker powers go up against the cult.

Tommy and Co take down the Cult, destroy an idol of Moloch and think they destroy the man who has been creating and controlling the zombies. The book ends with Tommy having a face off with the Mayor and one of the Mayor’s more powerful appointees turns out to be the voodoo man, still very much alive and well.

My Thoughts:

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Part of my enjoyment stems from the fact that the author seems to really consider just how things would play out in these scenarios. If you stopped a cult, do you think they’d be “Oh, we lost. Good game. Ta ta.” Yeah, I don’t think that either. Finn also shows what an uphill battle Tommy has because of people in power. He also shows that Tommy isn’t living in a vacuum and that his choices affect those around him.

But at the same time, Tommy is never overcome. He trust that God gave him the powers he has for a reason and he’s willing to use them to the fullest extent possible. When his son is kidnapped, Tommy is fully cognizant that to save his son he’s probably going to have to sacrifice his own. Not once does Tommy whine or complain or act like a self-entitled wimp. When things go wrong, he doesn’t blame God nor does he blame those around him. In short, Tommy is the kind of character I like to read about.

The introduction of zombies and the bokor (the person controlling the zombies) being a man of power in the city certainly made sense and also created some future battles. Having destroyed the idol of Moloch, the bokor’s totem of power, you know he’s going to continue going after Tommy and his family. And that is something else that I liked and want to talk about. Tommy never snivels about how he needs to be alone and cut off from his family to protect them. He realizes that he is stronger for being with them AND that part of his duty as a husband and a father is protect them. His wife has several guns, knows how to use them and does so. Tommy’s son has a pistol, is learning krav maga and knows what to do when certain scenarios happen. Tommy and his family have thought through scenarios from each place in their house and have what the proper response is and they practice that. The man is enabling his family instead of crippling them with fear and a “hide and hope for the best” attitude. Oh, I am loving this series just for that. Tommy is a hero and one that I am enjoying reading about.

The action, while not quite as intense as the previous book, is still high and tight. Gun battles are great to read about, that is for sure.

Rating: 4 out of 5.