Jon Land, bestselling author of “Strong Vengeance,” (Forge, $24.99, 351 pages, hard cover) the latest blockbuster in the Caitlin Strong series has brought an old friend back to life in “Pandora’s Temple.” (Open Road Media, $16.99, 390 pages.) www.JonLandbooks.com
It’s been fourteen years since Blaine McCracken, Sal Belamo and Johnny Wareagle came to the rescue. That’s fourteen years without some of the greatest tough guy writing since Robert Parker’s Spenser For Hire.
In just the first 20 pages there were more than a dozen quotable sections. Scenes you will be delighted to read. Scenes I would be proud to have written. Here are two.
Scene one: McCracken’s being interviewed for a mission by, Hank Folsom, a semi-slimy-bureaucratic CIA type.
“Because killing came so easy. You still worthy of the nickname ‘McCrackenballs’?”
“You want my services or my autograph, Hank?”
Folsom leaned forward. “How many times did they ask you to go after Bin Laden?”
“Not a one.”
“That’s not what I heard.”
“You heard wrong.”
Folsom came up just short of a smile. “I heard there was a reason why the SEALS encountered so little resistance. I heard the bodies of eight pretty bad hombres were hauled out after the fact, all dead before the SEALS dropped in. Word is it was you and that big Indian friend of yours.”
Scene two, edited slightly for space. McCracken and his team confront a Mexican drug lord.
…“You are really threatening me? Here in my home, in front of my men?” His voice gained volume with each syllable. He seemed to be enjoying himself; the challenge, the threat.
“I’m going to let you keep your drugs, against my better judgment, but the four Americans, the college students, they leave with me.” …
“Just like that?” Morales said, the veranda’s other occupants stopping their laughter as soon as he stopped his.
“Yup, just like that.”
“And what do I get in return for accepting your gracious offer?”
“You get to stay in business.” McCracken tapped his watch for Morales to see. “But the clock is ticking.”
“You have one minute.” …
“I have one minute! He roared, laughing so hard now his face turned scarlet and he wheezed trying to find his breath.
“Forty-five seconds now.”
Morales jabbed a finger at the air McCracken’s way. “I like you amigo. You’re a real funny guy.” He stopped laughing and finally caught his breath. “After you’re dead, I think I’ll have you stuffed and mounted on the wall so I always have something to make me smile.”
“You won’t be smiling in thirty seconds time, Morales, unless you agree to give me the Americans. Tick, tick, tick.”
Thirty seconds later the Hellfires hit.
For readers who prefer their grit lit with a military bent, November is a great month. First A Delta Force Novel by Dalton Fury, “Tier One Wild.” (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 338 pages, hard cover.) www.stmartins.com.
As a Delta troop commander, Dalton Fury helped design the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden. His bestseller, “Kill Bin Laden,” covered that mission. His first novel, “Black Site,” and his latest novel “Tier One Wild” build on that excellent foundation.
The most wanted man in the world, al Quada commander Daoud al-Amriki and his team infiltrate the USA. Their mission: use Russian-built, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles on American aircraft.
When a SEAL Team 6 mission to stop Amriki goes wrong, Major Kolt Raynor and his Delta team end up front and center.
A Seal Team Six Novel, “Hunt The Wolf,” by Don Mann with Ralph Pezzullo. (Mulholland Books, $25.99, 338 pages, hard cover.) www.usfrogmann.com.
Another excellent anti-terrorist thriller from an author who has lived under fire. “Hunt The Wolf” reads like it was written by a guy who’s been shot at too many times to count.
Mann spent 30 years with the SEALs as a platoon member, assault team member and advanced training officer. Since his retirement from the SEALs, he has deployed to the Middle East on numerous anti-terrorism missions.
Jeez, he’s retired and people are still shooting at him. That must make writing a series of international best sellers look easy.