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.
Second Strike by Peter Kirsanow has Special Operator Michael Garin returning to save the day again. This Superman quote applies, Garin “fights the unending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.” He will once again face off against his nemesis, Russian Special Operator Taras Bor in this action-packed thriller.
Mike Garin was not written as an anti-hero. “I wrote him as someone who is sure about the righteousness of his cause. He sleeps very well at night. Never apologetic for defending America. I wanted him to be a Gary Cooper type, the old-fashioned gun slinger who is on the side of right. I met many operators and my brother-in-law used to be one. They believe in America and understand what must be done to keep it as the greatest country in the world. Garin was inspired in part by a couple of operators I’ve known, but he’s chiefly a combination of the attributes of my brother-in-law and my late father, one of the world’s great badasses. In fact, Nikolai “Pop” Garin is my father. The existential struggle between Garin and his nemesis Taras Bor is a metaphor between the existential struggle of America and its chief enemies. In future books readers will find out something about Bor that will surprise them and put some things in perspective.”
At the center of the plot is the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and America. Just weeks after thwarting an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack by the Russians and Iranians, Garin and company realize that Russia is planning something else, a massive cyber-attack using ISIS wannabes. It is a warning of sorts that hammers the point home, America does not have a response doctrine to a massive attack of either magnitude. Without government support, Garin turns to three people for help: Congo Knox, a former Delta Force sniper; Dan Dwyer, the head of a sprawling military contracting firm; and Olivia Perry, an aide to the national security advisor. As the tension mounts up Garin must stop the attack or millions will die.
Kirsanow commented, “Because of my job I am at a lot of committee hearings. The first book, Target Omega, was inspired by a 2010 hearing on EMP. For this book, I happened on a committee meeting regarding cyber-attacks. It was shortly after that where China hacked the Office of Personal Management. My assistant on the Committee of Civil Rights had her file hacked. It affected so many people I know. The administration at the time did nothing to protect those individuals. The opening scene in this book refers to how previous administrations let problems fester. If we do not have plans to deal with these dangers it amounts to ‘defense malpractice.’”
This story has never ending action. Readers will be on the edge of their chairs as they quickly turn the pages to see how Garin thwarts Bor and the Russians.