Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor, by G. Galdorisi & D. Couch

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MWSA Review

The shadowy worlds of drug cartels and terrorism collude in this fast past novel. Dick Couch, former Navy SEAL and Captain George Galdorisi, USN retired, bring together their considerable experience to craft a novel based on the motion picture of the same name.

In Coronado, California, Navy SEAL Lieutenant Roark Engel shares the news of his wife’s pregnancy with his platoon Chief, Dave Nolan. Across the world, an ice cream truck stops outside the Jakarta International School. As always, the students, children of ambassadors and the like, flock to it, including the son of the American ambassador and his father. Only today, the ice cream attendant is accompanied by Abu Shabal. With a remote device, Shabal detonates the explosives inside the truck, killing scores of children and the U.S. ambassador, then walks away. In Puntenaras, Costa Rico, Christo watches happily as his daughter Solano swims in his luxurious pool while his wife makes lunch. He cavorts with his daughter in the pool, enjoying the fruits of years of drug smuggling, all the while plotting his and his family’s disappearance.

Three separate instances, yet the players will meet. Act of Valor vividly depicts the SEALs in action. When a CIA operative is killed in Costa Rico and another kidnapped, Engel and Nolan and the Bandito Platoon are sent to rescue the kidnapped woman. They succeed, only to be briefed that the kidnapping and killing were part of something much more than the usual drug scene. The man responsible, one Christo, is involved in something even more sinister, terrorism. Couch and Galdorisi put Engel and Nolan through their paces as they track Christo and his old friend, Shabal. With a thorough knowledge of the weaponry and landing craft used, the authors present highly realistic scenes. The close bonds between the SEALS are compellingly shown, even to one man sacrificing his life to save the mission and what remains of his men. The ending, bittersweet and sad, serves as a reminder of the high cost of duty. Act of Valor is well done.

Reviewed by: Barbara Peacock (2012)

Author's Synopsis

Behind the secret missions. Beneath the official stories. Beyond the brotherhood…
The Navy SEALs have been fighting terrorists around the world for more than a decade. And for all that time, the Bandito Platoon from SEAL Team Seven have been on continuous combat rotation. Now they have drawn a shipboard assignment off Central America—an easy day.
But for a Navy SEAL, the only easy day was yesterday.

Act of Valor goes deep into the secret world of today’s most elite and highly trained group of warriors. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the United States, a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitments to country, Team, and their families back home.

But each time they accomplish their mission, a new piece of intelligence reveals another shocking twist to the plot, which stretches from Chechnya to the Philippines and from the Ukraine to Somalia. The widening operation sends the SEALs across the globe as they track a terrorist ring to the U.S.-Mexico border—where they engage in an epic firefight with potentially unimaginable consequences for America…

In a powerful story of global anti-terrorism—inspired by real-life missions, Act of Valor combines stunning combat scenes, up-to-the minute battlefield technology, and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate in action adventure.