MWSA Review Pending
"Raven slung his rifle. He walked over and stood behind them, his Sig leveled, finger on the trigger."
In the author’s latest thriller, America is not as secure as its average citizen might think. Radical Islam poses a serious threat to the nation, but only a few understand just how extensive the reach is of its practitioners. Raven has experienced firsthand how dangerous the nation’s enemies can be, but many of them, in turn, will learn what a deadly adversary he can be.
Raven’s primary task—a job that is both professional and personal to him—is to protect someone who is, quite possibly, America’s greatest defensive asset: a remote viewer named Josie. She is able to see future events—such as coming attacks or the movements of dangerous individuals—and pass this information on to those who can make a difference. Keeping Josie safe will propel Raven into both defensive and offensive roles. With Iranian Quds secretly on American soil and high-profile players calling the shots, he will need to strengthen his existing network of allies and even use the Russians to eliminate a mutual enemy. But will his efforts be enough?
Trudel deftly mixes politics, espionage, and violence with a sprinkling of the paranormal in this new addition to his riveting series. His choice to set his novel slightly in the future allows him to comment on current affairs and contemporary politicians while giving him the freedom to populate his narrative with fictional leaders, as well. And comment he does, pointing out perceived flaws in liberal policies while championing the more conservative stances. Yet his novel should not be seen as simply a voice for the Right. Rather, it is an entertaining and gripping story of patriots operating in the shadows who are desperately trying to protect the nation from those who would destroy it.
Chief among these heroes is Raven, a complicated character who becomes more likable with each new novel. Clever, resourceful, and highly trained, he has no qualms about taking extreme measures to achieve his objectives—even if this means stalking and killing his enemy in cold blood. Josie, on the other hand, struggles with the need for violence. Psychically fragile, she has even gone catatonic in the past when things have gotten too rough. The Beauty-and-the-Beast relationship between these two principal protagonists is part of what makes the series so appealing. A hero of a different stripe is the aging Doctor Goldfarb. As a new Ad-hoc member to the President’s National Security Council, he fights on the political front while coordinating with Raven in the shadows. Former Marine General Mike Mickelson is a new ally for Raven but a familiar figure to those who have read Trudel’s Soft Target. He adds some strong, no-nonsense accountability to Raven’s expanding team. The author does an excellent job in developing all of these characters, revealing new layers to their personalities as the book progresses.
Stylistically, Trudel’s use of point of view is intriguing. The switch from the third person into the first and then back again is initially a bit disconcerting, bouncing the reader’s attention momentarily away from the action like a literary speed bump. Once you get used to these changes, the story rolls along smoothly, building in tension as the author pulls you deeper into the plot. Carefully crafted yet more cerebral in some ways than similar thrillers, Trudel’s continuation of Raven’s adventures is not to be missed.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
ISBN/ASIN: 978-0997805291, 978-0999630501, 978-0-9978052-8-4, B0798XFYPH
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 348