A teenage mixed martial arts genius works covert ops for the U.S. government.
It's been 10 months since the witness protection program whisked McCutcheon "M.D." Daniels and his little sister away from their miserable lives in Detroit. In that time, M.D. has been working with the military, training in the arts of black ops, and occasionally going into the field and using his unique set of skills to catch predators. Meanwhile, back home, the Priests have targeted M.D.'s abandoned flame and his father in efforts to draw the boy that got away out from hiding. It all comes to a head with an undercover M.D. entering Jentles State Prison, a facility notorious for breaking prisoners beyond imagination. Sitomer's Caged Warrior (2014) was an exciting action thriller that leaned into its darkest elements in smart, interesting ways. Unfortunately this sequel can't pull off the same balancing act. This scenario involving top-secret government agencies and Supermax prisons is completely removed from the reality established in the previous book. Instead of escalating the stakes, the author has blown them up to comic-book levels. When everything is so big and so tough and so gritty and so violent, there's no room for hope, nor is there much room for reader engagement. The book concludes with a beat that feels cribbed from The Shawshank Redemption and a hint at further books. Few readers will want to follow.
A sequel that destroys the goodwill established by its predecessor. (Thriller. 12-16)