When The Reaper Calls
By John L. DeBoer
Terrorism is center stage. Two members of a security company team up with the NSA to stop a terrorist from killing a rock star. It’s a game of chess and out-thinking the opponent and the stakes are deadly.
Oft seen plot with just a bit of a twist this time where the main characters aren’t military (although they are former SEALS), or a lone hero going into action guns blazing. Plus, the terrorist is home grown.
Adam Taylor: 38, former SEAL, works for Global Security Guardians
Mario Martinez: former SEAL, works for GSG, parents dead
Peter Crandall: NSA analyst, knows Arabic, homosexual
Amira Bahar: NSA analyst, long black hair, dark brown eyes, Muslim, has a brother
Barbara Plaskin: works in the counter terrorism department for the FBI
Yusuf Khouri: 30, parents were professors, attended Fairleigh Dickenson U., and Wroxton College
I thought the characters, with the exception of Yusuf, were pretty good, well developed. Some good camaraderie between Adam and Mario. There was good interplay between the good guys.
As for Yusuf – the Reaper. Well, when I saw the title, I thought “Ooh, evil guy coming up.” When I started in on this, Yusuf was the bad@$$ terrorist. As the story moved along, though, he had to contend with a couple of terrorist yokels who, if they were honest with themselves, would rather have sat at home eating Cheetos and watching Netflix. They didn’t come across as all that scary. Which, in turn, brought down Yusuf’s nastiness because he had to constantly keep these other two on the mission. He was a good baddie, but not scary Reaper bad.
Pretty good. Distinctive voices. Conversations didn’t wander.
A bit of profanity. Chapters and scenes headed by a combination of time/location/day.
This book was clean in that I didn’t find a grammar/punctuation/spelling error and I was impressed with that. Kudos to whoever edited this.
I thought the action was pretty good, some good drama, a bit of a twist at the end that could have gone another way and still worked.
I did enjoy the chess game. Each side seemed to think ahead and plan accordingly. Yusuf was pretty good at coming up with Plan A, then B, then C, then D, and so on each time he was thwarted from the previous. The GSG guys and the NSA kept always thinking, “Well, what if Yusuf does this, then we’d better plan for that.” So, that was interesting.
My main issue with this book is that it set up the climax way in advance, then spent a huge chunk of the book leading up to it. That final day dragged on and though there were plan changes and clues and deliberations, and scenarios, it seemed forever before things started speeding up.
The climax could have been a bit more intense, but I enjoyed the determination of the terrorists.
So, what about rank. This may surprise some people based on the issues I had with this, but I did enjoy not having to slog through errors and hard to read sentences and misspellings and POV problems. And it was a decent story, all in all, despite some of the aforementioned problems. Therefore, keep those in mind, but still have a good read on a book I’ll give a: