The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link.
Best-selling author Ted Bell’s latest book Warriors delves into the dangers of an emerging China. This spy thriller brings back his main character Alex Hawke who is not the ordinary super spy. In this novel Hawke plays a supporting role to the gripping plot, which the author uses as a sounding board to wake-up Americans.
Bell commented to blackfive.net, “The whole China angle came about while at Cambridge. From 2011 to 2012 I was elected to be a visiting scholar and a visiting writer in resident by Sir Richard Biling Dearlove, the retired head of MI6, now a professor there. We focused on the issue of China with a subset of North Korea. It was fascinating for me because anyone who wants a future in the intelligence community, the highest level of military, espionage, and intelligence, were there. It was like Spy vs. Spy meets Harry Potter.”
The plot begins when a rogue Chinese military general kidnaps American scientist William Lincoln Chase and his family. Chase is known for his research on creating weapons that will alter the global balance of power. Intertwined with this are the sub-plots that have Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Congreve Ambrose investigating the murder of a Cambridge professor and coming to the rescue of Hawke’s son with the culprits being beastly black birds.
Although Bell told blackfive.net that most of the technology in the book was fictional, there is a believability and realism to it. Readers will be engrossed with the highly advanced fighter jet designed to deliver Alex to his Chinese contact, a pair of equally advanced missiles designed to prevent him from making that meet, sophisticated drone planes, and a new class of submarine that is able to stay submerged in the water without a crew.
The torture scenes, although old school, are never the less very graphic and sophisticated, displaying the cruelness of the Chinese and North Koreans. Bell wonders where the outcry is considering “waterboarding to them would be like me shooting you with a squirt gun. These places are horrific and no one does anything about it. There are four of these prisons with thousands of people who are sent there if they make the government angry. Yet, China continues to fund the North Koreans, probably because, excuse my language, North Korea is China’s bitch, happy when they give the US a hard time.”
Many of Bell’s fans have likened Alex Hawke to James Bond, a comparison he disagrees with. The author describes his main character as dashing, sophisticated, emotional, witty, passionate, and a very eligible bachelor. He noted, “Bond was a creature of the 20th century where as Hawke is from the 21st century. He is thirty-three years old and the sixth richest person in England. Unlike Bond Alex is a living breathing man who falls in love, misses his child, gets hurt, sees the world as good vs. evil, and can be very emotional. He represents a way of life that is rapidly receding in America. Alex is a man of character with the bulldog tenacity of Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan. All these men would never give in. We have gone from fighting on the beaches to sun tanning on the beaches.”
There are two powerful themes from the book. The mindset in Washington: We will not have to worry about the Chinese military capability until well into the next decade, and Washington behaves like a crippled giant. Bell commented, “Looking at every possible recent scenario we are on the losing side, whether in Crimea, Syria, or Iran, our government makes a big show but there is never a price to pay. Our navy is the smallest it’s been since WWII. It is like we are dismantling this country with a lot of damage being done. We are on the defensive, which is depressing. China is becoming much more powerful.”
Ted Bell hopes his readers will find Warriors, a “tongue in cheek book, that is fun to read while learning a little something.” This book accomplished this and a lot more with a gripping and realistic plot with likeable main characters.