This started out to be a tough-guy, military-guy or at least an honorable-CIA-spy-guy column but Dana Haynes lead character from “Ice Cold Kill”, Daria Gibron, kept popping up from out of nowhere and treating my arm like it was her own personal pipe cleaner. You know—bend it this way, bend it that way, bend-it-bend-it-bend-it-real-fast, rest, now break-it-in-half-and-twist-everything-into-an-ugly-circle—that kind of pipe cleaner.
She wanted in the column. Said there was no point in me having two arms if I was only going to write a column that covered half the real world. And promised that I could keep my write arm (pun intended) if “Ice Cold Kill” got the lead.
Here’s a quote. “Before he was aware of it, she slid behind him, pulled up his arm, and twisted painfully. His shoulder popped out of its socket and lights flashed before his eyes.”
You get the idea. Tight basic prose that doesn’t get in the way.
Daria Gibron is a woman with an uncertain future. Former Shin-Bet, exiled to the USA under FBI protection, she’s a thrill junkie who still freelances. She’s trigger-happy, focused, extremely dangerous and never, ever boring.
“Ice Cold Kill.” (Minotaur Books, $25.995, 343 pages, hardback.) www.dana-haynes.com
Now some tough guys.
“Seal Team Six” and “Hunt The Wolf” both Thomas
Crocker thrillers by Don Mann with Ralph Pezzullo (Mulholland Books $25.99, hardbacks.) www.usfrogman.com.
These books were cracked open with lots of trepidation. Fears of 500 word Clancy weapon-orgasmagraphs (paragraphs of weapons copy filled with gynecological level details about our military’s latest and greatest weapons) that would make me long to reread Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. In the original Russian.
I was as wrong as a donut at Weight Watchers.
Crocker’s a tough guy’s tough guy. He and his team protect the USA from, well, pretty darn much everybody. In “Wolf” the team moves from Pakistan to the streets of Jordan taking on Islamic militants and al-Qaeda. Then—BANG! In “Scorpion” the team leaps on pirates off the east coast of Africa.
Don Mann has been associated with the Seals for 30 years as a platoon member, assault team member, boat crew leader and more. (So I’d guess he knows what he’s writing about.)
To me both books read like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Fast and clean. There’s more military structure, more politics and lots of action. HOOAH!
“Eye for An Eye” a Dewey Andreas Novel by Ben Coes (St. Martin’s Press., $25.99, 400 pages, hardback.) www.bencoes.com
This July you can pick up the latest Dewey Andreas novel, “Eye For An Eye.” But why wait. USA Today Bestseller “The Last Refuge” and “Coup D’etat,”—the novel perennial New York Times #1 bestselling author Brad Thor described as ‘ Brilliantly executed … fantastic.”—and the first Dewey Andreas book, “Power Down” are all on the book shelves right now.
This quote was picked by pulling the top paragraph froma random page. “The heat inside the room was cranked up. Both men were sweating, but Bhutta, with his wrists shackled behind his back—and the muzzle of Dewey’s Colt M1911 aimed at his head – was sweating a little more.”
Top of the next page. “Yes, even Bhutta could see the toughness now, as he stared at the American. It was the same meanness and detachment that Bhutta knew had probably coursed in the blood of the men who so long ago had kicked the crop out of the British, a determination that, to the Iranian’s mind at least, was a s defeating as anything he’d ever experienced.”
Coes web site says it all in just five little words. “High concept meets high octane.”
But wait there’s more.
Check out “Targets of Revenge,” the new Jordan Sandor thriller by Jeffrey S. Stephens.
Sandor’s a CIA tough guy backed by a skilled team of agents who carry out secret operations around the globe. Absolutely excellent! $26. 441 pages. Hardback from Gallery Books. http://www.jeffreystephens.com/
And even more. “The Utopia Experiment” a Covert-One-Novel by Kyle Mills. $26.99. 422 pages. Hardback. From Grand Central Publishing. www.kylemills.com
The President has his own private super hero team: Covert-One. The last resort for global scale threats. Colonel Jon Smith heads the team reviewing a tremendous intelligence breakthrough—a personal enhancement system that combines your iPhone and the upcoming google glasses while offering Dr. Phil like insights on peoples character and lets you shoot and hit bad guys you couldn’t normally see.
Too scary. Too likely to be real. Imagine what could happen when things go bad.