Recently, I got to read Hank Brown’s new novel, Tier Zero. Having already read and greatly enjoyed his debut novel, Hell & Gone, I was really looking forward to it. Well, Hank didn’t disappoint.
Set ten years after the Sudan mission in Hell & Gone, Tier Zero sees the return of a number of characters from the first book. Rocco Cavarra is back, but he takes a back seat to Tommy Scarred-Wolf, the Shawnee Special Forces veteran. Tommy is running this particular op, to rescue his niece from Indonesian pirates.
As much as I enjoyed Hell & Gone, this book is better. Hank has polished some of the character interactions. There are still conflicts between even characters on the same side, much like there were in Hell & Gone; both books are about ad hoc units put together for a particular mission. He even has a bit of a romantic subplot going on, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the action.
There are multiple threads running through the plot, and several betrayals ratchet up the tension between the good guys, over and above the tension of being on their own in a foreign land, surrounded by enemies. Questions are raised about who to trust, both within and without the group. There are hints of broader conspiracies, that I hope to see pursued in the next book. (That’s a hint, Hank.)
The fights are fast-paced and visceral, and there are plenty of them. Hank has a little different taste in weaponry than I do, but he makes it work.
Overall, it’s an excellent entry in the genre, and an improvement on his past work. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Hank is also running a blog tour, with giveaways. The details are on his blog: