Monthly Archives: October, 2017

The Final Mission of Extortion 17

The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan
by Ed Darack
(c) 2017
Published by Smithsonian Books

Rating: ❶❷❸❹❺  5 of 5 stars

The author presents glimpses into the background, training, and motivation of some of those on the final mission. This really drew me into the book and made me want to keep reading.

The book covers not only the final mission of Extortion 17, but also some of the lead-up to the mission. The author explains the many military acronyms in a straightforward way that helped me grasp their importance to the narrative, if not their full importance in the wider military setting.
A list of abbreviations and acronyms is provided.

Photos and maps accompany the chapters.

The Sources section briefly describes how the information for each chapter was obtained.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military aviation, recent history, and modern military.

I was provided with an uncorrected proof of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Smithsonian Books.

Advertisements

Deadly Lies

Deadly Lies
by Chris Collett
Genre: Mystery
Published 9/29/17 by Joffe Books

①❷③④⑤      2 of 5 stars

DI Tom Mariner investigates the death of investigative reporter Eddie Barham, an apparent suicide – except it’s not suicide.  PC Tony Knox assists with the investigation. Witness to the death is Jamie, severely autistic, also sibling to Anna and the deceased.  Anna Barham, sister of the victim, takes on the care of Jamie while trying to find why her brother was murdered.

Overall impression: The premise drew me in, and I enjoyed the twists and turns as the investigation progressed. The pace increases dramatically toward the conclusion.

What I like:

  • The premise: the only one who could say what happened…can’t say what happened.
  • The Brocken Spectre (you’ll have to read the book to see how it applies).
  • Snappy observations are sprinkled through the book. My favorite is when Anna first meets DI Mariner, whose recent nose injury makes his speech sound a bit thick, and “Anna had to fight a bizarre urge to pinch her nose and respond in the same way.”
  • Good opening sentence: the who and the what are identified, but not the back story which would have bogged down the opening.
  • Short chapters. New info, red herrings, changes of perspective are all moved along very well in chapters that are quickly read.  Also, the chapter endings are good: they made me want to turn the page right away and get to the next part.

What I don’t like:

  • DI Mariner, Anna Barham, PC Knox
  • Is this story a treatise on autism and medication, or a mystery? Difficult to tell. It’s labeled mystery.
  • DI Mariner jumps to conclusions. How does a newspaper story that is “personal” to its author bend itself in Mariner’s mind to be about “personal services”?
  • The story reads like it was hastily abridged: answers are sometimes announced before the evidence is introduced.
  • Anna’s brother Eddie took care of Jamie for years. When Anna assumes care of Jamie, she starts from scratch learning his favorite foods, etc. Why didn’t she just check Eddie’s cupboards to see what he stocked for Jamie?
  • Too much detail that doesn’t relate to the story. While the detail does establish the characters’ experience and mindset, the reader doesn’t need that much detail to get the picture.

Thank you to Joffe Books and NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

%d bloggers like this: