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.
Swift Vengeance by T. J. Parker starts out with a sharp cut, when someone is threatened with decapitation. Drones play an important role as readers wonder how they are used in today’s society, able to enter someone’s private premises, used for business purposes, or in warfare to kill the terrorists before they behead someone.
Parker noted, “Drones are in the news a lot. The government had to pass who could fly a drone and where. It is scary where we are going with them. The drone teams are put in an air-conditioned trailer outside of Las Vegas and fly live missions over countries in the Middle East. The logistics of how it works is mind boggling. This book goes into how Lindsey’s actions in the military and the resulting consequences of those actions come back to haunt her. Drone pilots seem to have to face ethical issues over the course of their career. Their nerves are shot, and many have trouble handling the long confinement. The duties are far different psychologically than being a physical pilot.”
Lindsey Rakes was part of a team of U.S.-based drone operators attacking terrorists. The psychological toll of the work eventually led her into a downward spiral of drinking and gambling. Trying to regain her family, she’s now in recovery. But her life is thrown into a tail-spin after someone threatens to behead her. After going on a date with Saudi born Rasha Samara, a collector of Arabian horses, she receives a written death threat, “Vengeance is justice,” signed “Caliphornia,” The handwriting looks very similar to the Rasha’s signature found on a note. She asks her old friend, private detective Roland Ford to investigate. Knowing he needs more resources he consults with FBI Agent Joan Taucher. The violence increases when Kenny Bryce, a former Air Force colleague of Lindsey’s is beheaded. Taucher and Ford know time is running out and must quickly find who is “Caliphornia” before more decapitations occur.
“I tend to write characters in pairs. Joan and Lindsey are both duty bound. Neither are proud or ashamed for the work they have done. They are tough and pragmatic. I think those in the military and law enforcement have more than a little in common.”
This realistic page-turner has readers taking a journey with the characters.