When A Drone Strikes
By Alex Castillo
Coping with the effects of a tragic mission for the CIA, Alexia Castillo takes a job with a national forest in Utah. There, she is partnered with her ex boyfriend from high school, Cody Grant. Cody is also suffering PTSD after a mission in Afghanistan. While both are trying to put their lives back together, and explore the possibility of further romance, Castillo discovers the corpse of an Indian youth. What’s the mystery all about? Precious stones? Or something much worse?
Interesting plot with some possibility. A story of what happens after a dangerous mission with a little mystery thrown in.
Alexia Castillo: ex-CIA, aka Annabella de la Cruz, father died on 9/11, owns a Glock. .44, brown hair, mother dead, works as a geologist for a National Forest, suffers from PTSD
Cody Grant: ex-Army, Alex’s ex boyfriend, tall, dark haired, blue eyes, chiseled face, owns a Toyota Tacoma, works with Alexia, battle scars, suffers from PTSD
Faisal Al Saleem: green eyes, shoulder length black hair, works for the CIA, fluent in several Middle Eastern languages, majored in criminology
Farzan Abdul Ghazel: terrorist, thick curly hair, has had plastic surgery, owns precious jewel mines
Kandy Sweat: Alexia’s boss, owns an F-350, hunter, wears glasses
Gregory ‘Ham’ Hamilton: wears glasses, thin, graduated Columbia with a Ph.d in Geology, owns a black Chevy truck
Except for Alexia, I had a mental picture of the rest of the cast. Alexia didn’t have too much description. I thought the characters worked well together. I don’t have a specific reason or can point to something missing, but I just didn’t get a ‘closeness’ to Alexia. Not for lack of trying, either, as there were some fine aspects about her and her history.
Most of the dialogue where the sentence should end in a comma before the tag line end in a period. Some of the internal dialogue from Alexia is too long and not the normal way a person thinks. Her thoughts could be her as the narrator without the italics designating internal dialogue. Some of the dialogue is unnatural, not how people speak. In the lengthy conversation between Cody and an Indian chief, there are a lot of repetitious words.
Chapters are headed by featured character (most of them are Alex) and date and location. Most chapters are first person POV. Present tense. A couple misspelled words. A few too many ‘ly’ adverbs. No profanity.
Throughout the book are flashbacks to the deadly missions both Cody and Alexia were involved with. These work well sprinkled here and there.
I have to go back to the italicized thoughts from Alexia as they are so prevalent. I think these could have been tighter and many weren’t thoughts people have. What I mean is, people don’t think in the lengthy sentences that are written here. Some work, others clearly don’t. Because of this I was a bit jolted when they occurred because, as mentioned above, much of the internalization could have been written as Alexia the narrator.
The murder gets shoved to the back burner for much of the story and is mentioned occasionally. I thought the intrigue with the bad guys would have played a bigger part.
Still, a fairly decent story.