This post is a bit of an apology, truth be told. I reviewed this book a few years ago, on the now-defunct “Hot Extract.” Overall, I found the book to be a decent shooter thriller, and something of a wish-fulfillment fantasy for a lot of shooters who have been in the sandbox and the rock-pile, chasing ghosts and being yanked back by the choke-chain by higher whenever it seemed like they might get somewhere to the shooters and go too far to higher.
Where things went sideways was when I started to squint at some of the details and question the author’s claims of having been a CIA contractor. As a gunfighter by trade, a few things just didn’t add up to me, and seemed like the work of an amateur who might not have actually ever been behind a gun in combat. Nothing big, but some of the gun porn seemed slightly over-blown, particularly the “unstoppability” of 7.62 NATO.
So I started asking around, and several people I spoke to, who had worked with the Agency in some fashion at some time became convinced, and convinced me in turn, that Mr. Berquist’s claims of his experience were, shall we say, exaggerated. And in the review I penned for “Hot Extract,” I blasted him for it.
Well, here is my mea culpa, dear readers, and one for Mr. Berquist as well. While I am unable to go into detail, I can say that my accusations have turned out to be unfounded, and that Mr. Berquist is, in fact, legit.
While it hurts my pride to have to admit such an error, I like to think that I am a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong. And I was wrong, in this case.
As for the book itself, it is an enjoyable run-and-gun through Afghanistan, hunting a Taliban HVT with a deniable group of heavy hitters with the flexibility to hit where and when they wish. Like I said above, it is wish-fulfillment for those who have hunted in vain. It manages to avoid many of the cliches of the genre, which have turned some readers off to most of the mainstream thrillers out there. It is worth picking up, if only for a few hours fast-paced reading.
And Drew, if you’re reading this, I hope you will accept my humble apologies, and eventually get around to writing the sequel.