I read this book because I loved Red Storm Rising (which Bond co-wrote) when I was in high school, and was looking for a way to recapture that. The result was mixed. This book was less “nation states at war” and more “special forces beats the terrorists.” The plot was very human-oriented, which wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.
In the end, it’s a standard techno-thriller about a four man “Special Demands” group that outwits some terrorists. I had some trouble following some of it – there were a couple places where I couldn’t quite figure out why the characters where in a certain place and what they were doing.
Additionally, there were two plot points in particular that I just thought were ridiculous [SPOILERS]:
That the president’s personal attorney would take over command of a Special Forces unit, and even join them in the field for missions.
That two American soldiers (who were admittedly not language experts) could impersonate Russian intelligence officers well enough to break a known terrorist out of a Russian/Chechan prison under false pretenses. You’re telling me that no one would pick up on their accents? Especially given what they were trying to do? And they were were both Irish, for goodness sake (their names: Conners and Ferguson), and probably didn’t even look remotely Slavic. I just found this completely absurd.
Regardless, the ending of the book is undeniably exciting, and there’s all sorts of military bravado throughout. The characters are a little thin (I never figured out the difference between Rankin and Conners), and the dialogue is super-manly and cliched, but I didn’t really expect anything less.
It was okay. If you like Clancy-esque techno-thrillers, this one will probably be right up your alley.