SHADOW WAR by Sean McFate


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A veteran paratrooper and military contractor’s debut novel about an American mercenary on a covert operation in Ukraine.

With experience inside the elite 82nd Airborne division and work as a private contractor, McFate (The Modern Mercenary, 2015) knows the world of his first thriller intimately. His hero, Tom Locke, works as a mercenary for private contracting firm Apollo Outcomes. Although Locke and his team of “Tier One” operators (former members of the world’s elite Special Forces units) usually work in North Africa, he is asked by Apollo's management to lead a Ukrainian revolt against Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces and place a rich oligarch into a strategic position of leadership. Locke’s mission is part of a high-ranking Apollo executive’s plan to get direct access to the oil fields of Ukraine. Unfortunately for Locke and his team, there's a possibility that this grand scheme may take precedence over their safety. This Ukrainian assignment is complicated further when Locke meets an old flame from the distant past who works as an investigative reporter and is bringing an incompetent CIA case officer in tow. With all these elements at play, the novel provides plenty of drama and a realistic view of political intrigue, and McFate really shines with lines that ring with authenticity. For instance, while sitting at a hotel bar in Kiev, Locke reflects: “I could sit perfectly at ease at a bar in a strange part of the world and use the reflections in the backsplash to pigeonhole everyone in the room.”

A promising debut from an author who clearly knows the realities of the mercenary’s trade.

Pub Date: May 10th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-240370-4
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016


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