Monday, March 12, 2012

Heroes come in many forms....

Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson

Publishers Weekly -

The 18th Alex Cross thriller (after 2010’s Cross Fire) recycles the kidnapping story line from the African-American super detective’s debut, Along Came a Spider. When the U.S. president’s children, 12-year-old Ethan and 14-year-old Zoe, elude their Secret Service detail by slipping out of a lecture hall window at their Washington, D.C., school, they end up the captives of a sadist, who sends the chief executive a note reading: “There is no ransom. There are no demands. The price, Mr. President, is knowing that you will never see your children again.” After some perfunctory turf battles, Cross, who’s with the D.C. Metropolitan police, gets assigned to the case, but he takes much longer than most readers will to identify the abductor. A Muslim terrorist subplot to destabilize the federal government does little to redeem the tired main plot. Patterson neither sweats the details nor invests his lead with more than two dimensions.

Star Wars The Old Republic #3: Revan by Drew Karpyshyn

From Barnes & Noble –

Based on the blockbuster online videogame, this Stars Wars: The Old Republic installment pits a hero with an unpleasant history against a threat against the very existence of the Republic. Revan is a Jedi who became a traitor to the Dark Side. He was only accepted back by having his memories erased. But what were memories return as living nightmares and now Revan must grapple not only with the dangerous present, but also the forbidding past. A strong tie-in to a fan favorite game.

SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer

Kirkus Reviews –

A marvelously engrossing account of the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, from associate editor of The Counter Terrorist Pfarrer (Warrior Soul, 2004, etc.). The author is a former assault commander of SEAL Team Six, which gave him a decided upper hand when collecting material for his story: As a brother in arms, he was able to talk to team members. It is a decidedly different picture than other high-profile accounts, such as the recent New Yorker article. Before he gets to northern Pakistan, however, Pfarrer has a number of other stories to tell. First is a history of the Navy SEALs, with emphasis on Team Six, "the smallest and most elite special operations unit in the world." He covers their training, equipment and operations they have led in Beirut, Grenada, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia and, perhaps the most fleshed-out operational description included here, the rescue of an American sea captain from Somali pirates. Seeking a broader context, Pfarrer delves into the roots of Islamic fundamentalism and produces a pocket biography of bin Laden, which in turn informs his history of al-Qaeda and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who played bin Laden like a puppet to get at his money. "Zawahiri needed capital," writes the author, "and Osama needed intellectual and religious justification for a global campaign of violence." Pfarrer points to Zawahiri as the likely source who ratted out bin Laden, and many others, to gain control of the organization's treasure box. Though the author's line of thought on al-Qaeda's access and deployment of weaponry is not always easy to follow, his writing is consistently informed, with a crunchy texture that belies its sub-surface polish. Richly told in broad, cinematic strokes, this is catnip for readers who enjoy special-ops tales.

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