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Book Review - LTC (ret) Brad Taylor's "Days of Rage"

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 on the right side bar.

9780525953982_p0_v2_s260x420Days Of Rage by Brad Taylor superbly blends historical facts with a fictional storyline. He writes a very complicated and intriguing plot with intense characters.  The new cast of characters brings the focus of the book upon events that the reader can truly imagine. 

The plot takes off from the very beginning where the US, Russia, and Israel are competing for the retrieval of a thumb drive that includes relevant information about the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics and a diabolical Russian plan.  Eventually some Israeli Mossad agents join forces with Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill to thwart the Russians.  This sinister plan is to draw the US into another war that will have detrimental financial consequences while attempting another massacre of Israelis.  A secret Russian unit is plotting to use a Nigerian terrorist organization to accomplish their goals. By providing Boko Haram, part of a Nigerian extreme Islamic sect, with a nuclear device, the former Soviet zealots can watch as America and Israel are drawn into another disastrous situation. The plot has a lot of action as Logan’s unauthorized team chase around the globe to stop the ruthless Russian former KGB agents.

Some of the true-life events include the 1972 Munich massacre.  A quote in the book rings true today as Israel is fighting not only the terrorists but a public relations battle, “The world received the news in horror and shock but managed to recover soon enough, not even stopping the Olympic games.” Taylor noted to blackfive.net, “Munich had a profound affect on Israel.  I researched this period of time when Israel was going back to Germany, the land of the Holocaust.  The world seems to have forgotten who are the true bad guys. Travesty as a whole does not seem to affect people.  Unless you are directly affected there is a short attention span. I pointed out this attitude in my second book with the quote, ‘if they would quit I would too, but if I quit they would still kill.’”

There is also the authentic characterization of the Russian Special Forces. Taylor states about the FSB officers, “Even the aliases used by my Russian characters are real.  I try to blend history and fiction in all of my books.” 

He also explained why he chose the true terrorist organization of Boko Haram instead of Afghan or Middle Eastern Islamic Jihadists.  “I also wanted to pull away from the ‘usual suspects’ of Al-Qaida. When I started writing there was this unknown group that intelligence has been following but hadn’t yet made it to the world public stage. Now, of course, they’re on the nightly news from their heinous capturing of schoolgirls.”

The high tech gadgetry utilized in the book is also very realistic.  Taylor found out that DARA had done a study showing how a car can be hacked.  Using a Ford Escape they showed that any car with a computer able to control the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator could be manipulated.  “If there is a computer system in a device it is hackable and can be attacked. Barnaby Jack in my story was not a fictional character.  He died a few days before a conference where he was going to warn how pacemakers and insulin pumps cannot be protected from outside interference.”

Also very convincing are the characters themselves. Through their dialogue and banter readers see them as “normal” people, not superheroes.  Jennifer saves Logan, a successful ex-Delta, Army special forcers operator, as seen in the book’s quote, “She pulled me out of the pit.  You asked why she’s with me, but you don’t understand the relationship.  I’m with her.” It is obvious that this is a book about redemption with Jennifer being the focal point since she helped to restore Pike’s moral compass. 

All the characters compliment each other.  The Israeli Mossad agent, Shoshana, is the female equivalent to Pike while the other Mossad agent, Aaron, is her moral compass.  The interaction between these four characters is at times humorous, sarcastic, and their chemistry is electric. 

Although the Israeli characters will not be in the next book, Taylor is considering them for future stories.  The next novel, No Fortunate Son, due out December 30th, also has a terrorist theme where the plot has a powerful political figure’s son kidnapped by Jihadists while fighting for the US military.  Taylor explores the question, is one life worth a counter-terrorism mission that might cost many lives?

Days Of Rage is a reminder that there are real security threats to America and its allies.  Taylor’s background in Special Forces allows for very realistic scenarios and characters.  This is a fast-action, suspenseful thriller.

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