High-energy action makes this a mostly enjoyable thriller.
Guns blaze in Syria as Mitch Rapp once again takes it to the bad guys.
A few things you need to know about the series hero: He is a highly proficient killer, he’s absolutely loyal to the U.S., and he has a strong sense of honor. So when Damian Losa, a billionaire Mexican and “the most powerful criminal in the world,” calls him for a favor, Rapp can’t refuse. “I helped him when he desperately needed it,” Losa says, “and he’s the kind of man who’ll feel obligated to honor that debt.” “Until I’ve repaid my debt to him,” Rapp says, “he’s the boss.” Losa wants to know about the growing Captagon business in Western Europe, where the illicit drug causes irreversible brain damage and permanent psychosis in its users. Losa asks Rapp to find out how the Syrians are making huge quantities of the drug economically. Jihadis want to undermine the West “where they were weak” by effectively rotting people’s brains, because they can never win on a battlefield. Rapp goes to Syria disguised as a wealthy Canadian attorney and learns that the Russians are in charge of exporting the drug to the West. (Turns out the Russkies hate us, too. Who knew?) Of course, Rapp gets into some bloody gunfights because that's what he does. But at least once the violence is disgusting; when a young man is impaled on an angle iron and is obviously going to die, Rapp bashes him in the forehead. “You see?” he tells the boy's father. “It’s okay. He’s with God now.” Shame on Rapp. Although most of the action takes place in Syria, the interesting put-downs are about the Russians. A Russian general muses, “Russia had been revealed for what it was: a starving old woman lashed by the Siberian wind.” And Rapp observes, “The Russians aren’t people who play to win. They play to make everyone else lose.”High-energy action makes this a mostly enjoyable thriller.
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
by Max Brooks ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020
A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).
A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Pub Date: June 16, 2020
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
BOOK TO SCREEN
by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!