Shattered Shield ISBN: 9781793114907 assumed published, copyright and written by Camden Mays.
The story opens with the crossing of the southern border of the U.S. by a group of illegals, one of whom is an Iranian whose activity includes killing persons here in order to effect his escape into the country. From this point the reader is shifted to the tale’s protagonist, a former Navy Pilot, recently divorced with settlement of their home in Virginia still contentious. He had left his prosperous consulting firm in California at the urging of a friend to become a member if the CIA. His wife had returned to California where their daughter was a university student. At present he has second thoughts as to the wisdom of his decisions and is about to resign when he is offered a new position of importance in a newly formed operation being established to nullify terrorist activity that had been initiated. The plot progresses from here to provide an interesting look at the step by step procedures taken by government agencies to foil terrorist plots and apprehend and/or eliminate the perpetrators.
Discussion: The author has set forth a fascinating picture of how the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security departments might function to establish and jointly perform to successfully combat the work of a terrorist and/or his organization. The early contents of the book required to establish the basics of the plot move rather slowly, but gradually the pace accelerates. The characters are empathetic, romantic and familial aspects are credible as are the thriller/suspense aspects that gradually expand. The finale provides a natural entre to the next volume. Judicious editing would greatly enhance the story’s enjoyment.
4* 5* Enjoyable anti-terrorist thriller/suspense; -1 editing required to enhance.
MATADOR, a Barrett Mason Thriller, Volume 1, published, copyright and written by Stewart Matthews.
Barrett is a former Recon Marine now working on clandestine operations for the U. S. under direction of his old commanding officer. The reader meets him as he is attempting to extract a microbiologist defecting from Iran. The defector is killed as the operation is underway and Mason must now save himself but there is another problem. The scientist, without informing anyone, had brought his daughter to be extracted with him. Mason feels responsible for saving this pre-teenage child who provides an additional problem in that she speaks only her native tongue. The story evolves as he eventually is able to get the two back to the states where the plot further develops as the very intelligent child is able to retrieve all of her father’s secretive data, shine light on a viscous world-wide operation to not only take over the U.S., but other nations, as well. This story ends with a degree of closure and entre to Volume 2.
Discussion: More pragmatic readers may need to overlook the question of how Barrett can make as many mistakes and often the inadequate moves as he does and still survive. If this has been his modus operandi through his numerous years in the Marines and subsequent clandestine activity, his survival has been amazing. His escapes in this volume mostly result from the intervention of good Karma and as a parenthetical aside, conversations within a helicopter are difficult, at best and many of the fight scenes here and elsewhere could benefit from editing. However, if one is addicted to thrillers regardless, this tale is replete with interesting characters with whom a reader can empathize as they proceed in a fast-paced plot that provides a base upon which to build the next escapade.
3* Fast-paced tale most thriller addicts can enjoy.