As you may remember, I reviewed Kerry Patton’s first book, Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors, and enjoyed the hell out of it. It wasn’t much of an action novel, but more of a novelization of real-world operations in Afghanistan.
Well, I have to say, for his second book, Kerry has dialed things up a notch. This is more of a globe-hopping espionage novel, though it retains the same authenticity and realistic tone of the first book. This time the target is not the Taliban, but rather Hezbollah. US intelligence has become so Al Qaeda fixated in recent years that Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist group prior to 9/11, has largely dropped off the radar.
I won’t go into the twists and turns of the plot, mainly because I don’t want to give anything away. It is twisting and turning, too. Determining who is friend or foe, or simply dealing with foes out of necessity is constant throughout the story. There’s not a huge amount of action, but there’s tension a-plenty.
Kerry has a way of hitting the reader with sudden changes in the situation, hard and fast. The mission also becomes personal for Declan in a way that somewhat reminded me of Patriot Games. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rehash of a 20-year-old Clancy novel. There’s a lot more going on here, sometimes even beneath the surface of a few words in a short conversation.
Kerry researched Hezbollah extensively, both professionally and for this book. There’s some information in here that is not common knowledge. It’s well worth reading for that insight alone. The fact that it’s a tense, well-written spy novel just helps it along.
You can pick it up on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.