By John Gilstrap
A bus full of missionaries in Mexico is hijacked. Enter Jonathan Grave and his security Solutions team to coordinate the ransom and release of the hostages. However, everything goes bad and Jonathan and his buddy Boxer are left to make it to the border with a seventeen year old boy in tow. The entire hostage situation was an attempt to kill Grave and Boxers. Now they’re fighting for their lives and up against betrayal and corruption that include a power hungry CIA agent, a drug dealer, and even to a well known minister of a mega-church. However, the trio isn’t without resources and know how. It’s a wild and bullet ridden race to the finish line.
Almost instant action right from the start. It’s a giant cat and mouse game mostly set in Mexico, with more action in Arizona, and the manipulators in Washington. At first I thought the switching back and forth would be distracting, but Gilstrap ties everything together nicely, keeping a fairly tight plot with a lot of quick scenes.
Jonathan Grave: Nickname ‘Digger’, code name Scorpion, leader of Security Solutions, blue eyes, attended William and Mary College. Father was a mobster and left a lot of wealth to Jonathan. He possesses a near photographic memory and because of his father, has an urge to protect the weak. Separated form his wife.
Brian Van de Meulbroeke: Code name Boxers, nickname ‘Big Guy’, almost seven feet tall, huge body mass, Grave’s right hand man.
Trevor Munro: CIA agent looking for advancement, out to kill Grave and Boxers, former station chief in Caracas.
Venice Alexander: aka Mother Hen, first name pronounced Ven-EE-chay. Director of Operations for Security Solutions. Has a twelve year old son.
There is just enough focus on the characters keeps this book from becoming a complete shoot ‘em up. Tristan is the lone hostage survivor and his mind set is shown throughout each phase of the adventure. I also enjoy Father Dom. His was a determined personality who never gave up.
Fairly distinctive voices for each character. Most conversations are quick and to the point.
No holding back. Violence. Profanity. Blood. Depiction and description of torture and humiliation and murder. The incidents are not drawn out, but Gilstrap wasn’t going to sugarcoat the evil. The action is quick because of the professionalism of Grave and Boxers. They know their stuff because Gilstrap knows his weaponry, technology, and strategy. This was a good combination of intelligence, strategy, technology and professionalism with a dose of humanity to keep it real. Very clean and grammatical writing.