Russell Pearce, “The Drifter,” wants a major change in his life. He has been a hired assassin, dispatching the enemies of the U.S. all over the world, but he is tired of living that life. He wants to drift, to disappear for a while in the mid-South, mostly Tennessee, to see the countryside, and to think.
As he embarks on his leave of absence from federal service, he keeps a low profile, staying in campgrounds and cabins, paying cash for almost everything, listening to nature, awakening with the sun, and making friends along in the way among barkeeps and restaurant owners. The author makes it very clear Russell enjoys home-cooked meals, and although Russell desires solitude, it seems that trouble finds him. He has an innate desire to help those who need it, and it results in several robberies which he foils, helping a shunned old woman, and setting a homeless Vietnam veteran on the right track to recovery. And that’s just the small stuff, some of which required him to use his considerable assassin skills.
In the area where he has decided to live for a little while, he recognizes an Islamist terrorist who slipped his grasp in the Middle East. Azim is now setting up a terror cell in the very town where Russell has met a woman, Jill. After Russell prevents many people in a church group from getting killed as a result of the actions of this terrorist, he disappears for a while, but promises to return to Jill.
His attempt to become “invisible” involves his using multiple identities, having his truck repainted, and having his cell phone fool anyone who could track it. He meets or reconnects with helpful people throughout the book. But he is tired of this life in intrigue and makes a decision that will allow him to explore his softer side and lead him to an adventure in relationships.
Russell Pearce is a likeable character, if a little unbelievable. But the reader goes along with him and enjoys his exploits, hoping he will find whatever it is, besides peace, he is looking for in life on his leave of absence from the CIA. Will he ultimately change his life forever, and settle down? Or his way of living too set for him to change? Read this enjoyable tale to find out the answer.
Reviewed by Patricia Walkow, MWSA Reviewer
The Drifter is a story about a Vietnam veteran and career Central Intelligence Agency operative who had one assignment too many. It made him question his heart and soul. Did have any of either left? Were they hardened beyond redemption? Richard Pearce loves America and serving its people, wherever that took him, whatever he had to do, but fears he lost his humanity as his expertise became legend. Pearce begins a journey to find the answers to his questions, to quell his introspection. Along the way he finds adventure and discovers that his instinct to protect people is as automatic as breathing. His travel takes him into the heartland of his country where he hopes to find a way to fend off his demons. Somewhere in the magnificent mountains of the south he hopes to find peace in himself and perhaps even some way to forgive himself for a life defined by violence
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle