Gallagher’s militaristic thriller blends horror and suspense.
The author’s debut begins with the rather gruesome deaths of two characters who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The action shifts to the Iraq war zone during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, when two service members have been taken hostage. The story’s perspective then shifts again, finally settling on the main character of Marine Mac McKenzie, a rescuer of the hostages and war hero who receives a proposition from the government that changes his life and his sense of what’s right and wrong. The opening chapters seem to have little to do with the exploits of Capt. McKenzie, but as this war-hero–turned–special-ops character delves deeper into the world of government espionage and covert ops, disturbing truths come to light—truths that will not only shock the captain, but shake his morals to their very core. Gallagher’s first novel thrills and will likely appeal to those with a military background. The bulk of this novel deals with corruption in the military and one man’s struggle to do the right thing when it seems every decision could kill innocent citizens. The book lacks initial focus, however, and the jumping perspectives can be hard to follow. Though the purpose of the opening scenes becomes clear as the reader progresses, the initial confusion may deter some readers. As the narrative unfolds, it tightens substantially, abandons the rapidly changing perspectives that clouded its beginning, and assumes the form of a gripping, dark conspiracy tale.
Muddled in the beginning but provides a supernaturally infused take on the militaristic thriller.