Book Review: If I Die Tonight
Book Review: The Third Victim

Book Review: The Terminal List

The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.


The Terminal List is a debut thriller by Jack Carr.  What makes this book special is that Carr uses his experiences as a SEAL to write a realistic action-packed story.  It takes readers to a time when rules of engagement had the Special Forces acting as cowboys where they took out the enemy up close and personal as well as from afar with sniper fire.

Carr noted, “The book was essentially written for me.  It was very therapeutic.  I revisited what was important to me over the last twenty years including emotionally, strategically, and tactically.  I combined them into a fictional thriller hoping to make the weapons and the people authentic.  It was me pouring out my passions and emotions. I took my experiences of studying warfare and the real world and applied it to this story about revenge.  I based it on the Samurai warrior mentality that understood they might die while going into warfare.  All of the emotions, flashbacks, and remembrances I felt over the last twenty years were placed on the protagonist. It also helped that my friend partnered with me to write this story.” 

He served for over twenty years with an expertise in communications/intelligence, to leading assault/sniper teams, and to practicing counterinsurgency.  He uses all this in the story when his hero, Lt. Commander James Reece, seeks revenge after losing almost all his men in an Afghanistan ambush killing 36 SEALs, 28 Rangers, and four aircrew members in his unit as well as his wife and child. After finding out that the murders were perpetrated by high-level rogue government and military officials he creates a list of twelve who must die. Reece has no regrets since he believes he is dying of a terminal brain tumor because the government decided to use his unit for experimentation of a drug that would be used for those with PTSD.   Readers will be reminded of Vince Flynn’s books Term Limits and Consent to Kill. Carefully plotting these assassinations Reece is determined to see that justice is served.

The author wanted to write a realistic story and reminds readers, “In the 1970s Senator Church had hearings on experiments done to people in the military. For example, they put Navy divers down at a certain depth for a certain amount of time.  If they had issues they would reduce the time.  These guys were used as guinea pigs. I molded much of this information into a fictional story.  It is also based on Vince Flynn’s Term Limits in that in both stories by killing the bad guys justice was served so there were no regrets.  This is why I put in the book quote, ‘Killing was not so much about taking a life, it was about sustaining life:  the lives of your countrymen, your unit, your family, yourself.’  I personally sleep very well at night regarding my decisions.”

There have been many inspiring books by SEALs about their life and career.  With The Terminal List readers get the inspiring story within an action-packed plot.