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Killing is a family affair in this lame-brained action thriller.

Meet Kyle and Kenny Rhoberts, two superlative commandos who run circles around mere U.S. Army Special Forces teams. With their home-modified KR-7 “fully automatic assault weapon[s] with silencer,” their cadre of souped-up motorcycles and their soft body armor, they hunt down and kill bad guys, leaving the Dallas police infuriated by their vigilantism. They don’t just kill bad guys, however; they capture them, torture and dismember them to get them to talk and, when they have wrung them dry of information, murder them. You might assume the brothers are ruthless, cold-hearted killers embittered by traumatic backstories. But in fact, they are two of the most winsome, lighthearted scamps you’d care to meet, forever razzing each other with juvenile put-downs (“Well, you would know all about male butts, wouldn’t you Kenny?”) and posting prank messages to the LED displays of each other’s night-vision goggles. They’re part of a veritable special-ops Brady Bunch, including sister Suzy, who handles computers and intel, older brothers Tim (demolitions) and Ritchie (sharpshooting) and doting parents Barbara and John, an ex-Special Forces honcho who trained the lethal brood. Their latest enemy is “Armageddon,” a shadowy conspiracy extending to the upper reaches of government and business that is, at various times, a neo-Confederate plot to re-establish an independent South, an anti-immigrant movement or a protest against traffic cameras. Whatever the creed, its members are but ducks in the family shooting gallery. The Rhoberts’s toggle between insouciant slaughter (“We’re going to burn it to the ground and kill every last one of them”) inane, sitcom-worthy repartee (“Mom, Suzy is running in the house”) and mid-massacre movie-trivia quizzes (“ ‘Forrest Gump,’ said Ritchie as he shot number twenty through the base of the skull”).

Tiresome, puerile splatter-fest.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-4241-4421-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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