Launch Day

Today is the day.  Doctors of Death is live, on Kindle and paperback (and the two editions are already linked, somewhat to my surprise).

Missing Persons, Dead Villagers, and a Sinister Cabal

When a WHO doctor goes missing in Chad, her husband is ready to move heaven and earth to find her. But most of his pleas fall on deaf ears. It’s Africa. These things happen. But his pleas eventually reach the shadowy office that arranges jobs for Brannigan’s Blackhearts. They’re headed into Central Africa, on another rescue mission.

But there’s more to this than meets the eye. A private military kingpin named Mitchell Price is sniffing around Chad at the same time. Entire villages are being wiped out by mysterious plagues. And an ominously familiar group of Western shooters has showed up, both in Chad and at home.

As a few people have noticed, Kill Yuan is now officially part of the Brannigan’s Blackhearts universe.  Doctors of Death is also something of a minor climax to the arc started in Enemy Unidentified; some things are coming to a head, and some answers are going to be revealed.  Only to lead to more questions, of course.

Check it out!  I hope you like it, and don’t forget to leave a review.

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The Guns of Doctors of Death

One of the fun parts about writing stories about a group of covert mercenaries is that they don’t have a standard loadout.  So, I get to include all sorts of weaponry for the Blackhearts themselves, as well as their adversaries, or just the locals they have to steer clear of.  Hence, we have the traditional gun porn post for each new volume, and Doctors of Death is indeed no slouch.

The team gets a little split up in this one, with one element in Africa, and the other having to operate Stateside.  Since the FN FAL is still in service with the Chadian National Army, Brannigan picks the FAL for their primary in Africa, though Van Zandt ends up getting the “Inch FAL,” the L1A1, for them instead.  The measurements are different, but the L1A1 and FAL both use the 7.62 NATO round, though the magazines are slightly different.  Fortunately, he included plenty of mags in the supply drop. Continue reading “The Guns of Doctors of Death”

Doctors of Death Chapter 3

The sound of crying echoed through the house. The place wasn’t even fully furnished yet, and Carlo Santelli had to cringe a little at just how loud Carlo Junior could get, particularly in some of the emptier rooms.

He almost didn’t hear the phone. Part of that was because of Carlo Junior’s wails, part of it was his own deafness in the aftermath of trying to walk the little tyke to quiet again. He’d failed miserably, and Melissa had come and taken the baby, leaving Santelli feeling frustrated and helpless again.

So, he wasn’t in the best frame of mind when he snatched up the phone and answered it without looking at the screen. “What?”

“Rough day, Carlo?” Brannigan asked dryly.

Santelli pressed his lips together and cussed himself silently but thoroughly. He really wasn’t cut out for this family life, and it was taking its toll. Or so he told himself.

“Sorry, sir,” he said. “The baby’s colicky, and he’s being a royal…a handful.”

“You’re even trying to watch your language,” Brannigan said, sounding congratulatory. “You’re truly becoming a family man, Carlo.”

“I’m afraid I’m not doing that great a job at it, sir,” Santelli said.

“Knowing you, you’re doing a lot better than most,” Brannigan said. He paused. “I take it that this is a bad time?”

Santelli glanced toward the other room, where Melissa had disappeared with Carlo Junior. The baby was still crying, but sounded like he was finally starting to quiet down. Maybe he’d just worn himself out. He could hope.

The truth was, he desperately wanted to go on whatever job Brannigan had, even if it was—uncharacteristic for the band of under-the-table mercenaries who called themselves Brannigan’s Blackhearts—just guarding a compound for a couple weeks. He understood that work. He’d been a Marine for twenty-three years, and retired as a Sergeant Major. He was comfortable with it. This…being a husband and a father was turning out to be more than he’d bargained for, especially as his late forties were rapidly approaching. Continue reading “Doctors of Death Chapter 3”

Doctors of Death Chapter 1

The Cessna 208 dropped like a stone and hit the runway in Abeche with a hard jolt that almost threw Dr. Elisa King into the back of the seat in front of her, despite the seatbelt.  For a moment, she thought that something must have broken. The pilot immediately slammed on the brakes and reversed the props, further throwing her and everyone and everything in the cramped cabin forward as the engines howled, trying to slow the plane down.

She hadn’t thought that the runway at Abeche was so short that a relatively small plane like the Cessna would need to decelerate that hard, but given what she’d seen of the pilot, maybe she shouldn’t have been surprised.

It wasn’t her first time in Africa, but her first time in Chad.  The World Health Organization had often sent observers to document the almost routine cholera outbreaks, but this was the first time someone with her specialty had been called for in the Sahel.

The plane having finally slowed to a reasonable pace, the pilot taxied toward the low, one-story terminal.  King looked out the window, taking in a part of Africa she hadn’t seen yet.

It looked an awful lot like many other parts.  The landscape was barren and dusty, obscured by heat waves and dotted with scrub.  The flatness of the country was broken only by low, peaked hills that looked like pyramids in the distance.

There were three military jets lined up against the retaining wall to the south of the airport.  Two had mechanics swarming over them, and the third didn’t look like it was in any shape to fly.  Half of one engine appeared to be apart, and there was a dusty tarp draped over the canopy.  King only spared them a brief glance; she wasn’t particularly interested in the Chadian military, or any military, for that matter, as long as they kept out of her way.

The WHO cavalcade didn’t really stand out from the other vehicles gathered at the terminal, because they were all Hiluxes and Land Rovers, just like almost every other vehicle in that part of Africa.  But the tall, spare Frenchman standing next to one of the Land Rovers caught her eye, indicating where they were supposed to go.  She’d recognize Flavien Paquet anywhere.

The plane stopped far short of the terminal, and the engines started to spool down.  King was not amused; she had probably a hundred pounds of baggage, and wasn’t looking forward to lugging it the quarter mile to the rest of the vehicles.  But the pilot, a local Chadian Sara, didn’t look remotely concerned, and showed no signs of starting the engines up to taxi any closer.  He was comfortable where he was.

“Typical,” Gerhart Strasser muttered under his breath.  The German epidemiologist usually spoke English, having spent most of the last ten years jetting between the US, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.  This was his first trip to Africa in quite some time, and he was already displaying his utter contempt for the Africans and their “dirty little countries.” Continue reading “Doctors of Death Chapter 1”

River of Flesh

I was initially a bit leery about this one, noticing on MackBolan.com that it was written by Robin Hardy.  My last go-round with Hardy was Show No Mercy, which was really, really poorly written.

But, a weird, double-entendre back cover notwithstanding (a double-entendre which has no bearing whatsoever on the story), River of Flesh turned out to be surprisingly solid.  Hardy still has some odd descriptive flourishes in this one (not to mention an overly high opinion of the lethality of 5.56mm), but the writing is generally a tier above what came in his last standalone SOBs title. Continue reading “River of Flesh”

High Desert Vengeance Chapter 1

Yes, despite launching a new series last month and all the associated work that’s gone into that, Brannigan’s Blackhearts #5 – High Desert Vengeance is coming soon.  The preorder should be up shortly.

You might remember from Frozen Conflict that Gomez was having some troubles at home.  Well, they got worse…


Juan Gomez was elbow-deep in the old F-100’s wiring bus when a yell from the house startled him.  His head snapped up, cracking his skull on the underside of the hood.

He didn’t swear; it wasn’t his way.  None of his children had ever heard a word of profanity pass Juan Gomez’s lips, and even fully grown, they were often the targets of his dire glare when they indulged in his house.  Even Mario, Marine that he had been.

Rubbing his head, he glanced up toward the house.  Emilio was standing on the porch, shading his eyes as he stared south, pointing with the other hand.  “Dad!” he called again.  “Look!”

Juan almost didn’t have to.  Slowly, heavily, still rubbing the sore spot on the back of his head, he turned and looked.  Sure enough, there were three plumes of dust coming up the valley.  Coming from the south.

Nothing good ever came from the south, these days. Continue reading “High Desert Vengeance Chapter 1”

Release Day

Frozen Conflict went live on Kindle at midnight.  It’s also been available in paperback for a few days now; I approved the proof a little early.  The plus side of that is that the Kindle and Paperback pages were linked by yesterday, so I don’t have to pester KDP about it, like I had to with the last two Brannigan’s Blackhearts books.

Manhunt In A Post-Soviet Hellhole

Transnistria.  A breakaway republic on the eastern border of Moldova, and a bolt-hole for notorious black-market arms dealer Eugen Codreanu.  Except that it’s suddenly turned from safe haven to prison for the man who was once rumored to be dealing in ex-Soviet backpack nukes.

A shadow facilitator reaches out to John Brannigan, former Marine Colonel turned mercenary.  The job: get Codreanu out of Transnistria, out from under the noses of the thousands of Russian peacekeepers swarming around the breakaway republic.  The hook: Codreanu might have information about the terrorist operation in the Gulf of Mexico a few months before.  The catch: there might be someone else trying to beat them to the punch.  The terrorists who seized the Tourmaline-Delta platform in the Gulf of Mexico might be trying to tie up loose ends.  And firefights in Transnistria could have wide-ranging consequences.

It’s a race against time in Eastern Europe.  And Brannigan’s Blackhearts might be going up against the Russian Bear to accomplish this mission.

This one was fun to write.  It certainly follows on from the events of Enemy Unidentified, while mixing things up quite a bit in terms of setting and bad guys.  I hadn’t really had a chance to tell a story in Eastern Europe (and in the winter) before.