The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews in the Books category or by clicking here:
Alan Jacobson’s latest book, Hard Target, ventures away from FBI behavioral analyst Karen Vail. Although she makes a cameo appearance, other characters in the book play a predominate role. There are a number of themes in this book: from when to follow orders, a search for life’s meaning, how a personal loss affects one’s life, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and a discussion of the Second Amendment.
The main character is FBI Agent Aaron Uziel, better known as Uzi. While working for Mossad he lost his wife and daughter in a terrorist attack. He moves back to America and lands a job with the FBI. In this book he works closely with Hector DeSantos, an operative with the Department of Defense. Together they try to find those responsible for an assassination attempt on the president-elect. This is where the reader gets exposed to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conspiracy theory involving the Second Amendment.
Although Jacobson commented that he does not see this book “involving a conspiracy theory because that has bigger connotations. Those that believe in it many times latch on to theories and facts, weaving them together into some fantastical, bizarre, illogical explanation of what has happened.”
The plot leans towards those supporting gun control, perhaps because he consulted with the general counsel of an organization that believes the Second Amendment does not provide citizens the right to bear arms. Jacobson told BlackFive that he did research with this group but he achieved a balance by having quotes in the book, such as “don’t blame the weapon, blame the handler.”
As with all of his books he tries to get into the mind of the antagonist. He made an interesting point in the novel, that bomb makers like serial killers have a signature. Commenting directly, “Part of the behavioral analysis unit profiles and analyzes bombers. The BAU approaches the bomber, in a sense, from a similar perspective: their work is studied as well as the way they execute these attacks.”
Will his next book be another in the Karen Vail series or will it involve Uzi? He told BlackFive that Karen Vail will return in the novel, which will be set in England. The story starts out with her in Madrid to educate the Spanish law enforcement about serial killers. While in Spain she gets involved in helping to apprehend an offender. This gets her in a bit of hot water and the FBI needs to send its legal attaché to extradite her. However, instead of coming home she is ordered to head to London to assist with a bombing threat assessment. In this next book, Hector DeSantos will also return to work with Vail and Scotland Yard.
In an interesting side note, he commented that he had to give his wife a tip of his cap since she gave him the idea of Hard Target before going to sleep. “Three hours later I woke up and started writing the first fifteen pages which became the outline for the book.”
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.