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08 May 2013

Stephen Coonts: Pirate Alley

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This is an exciting, nail-biting action adventure featuring Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini. Many authors of successful long running series are running out of steam - this is certainly not the case with Stephen Coonts with a very contemporary page-turning story.

Every day over 60 ships pass through the sea lanes that run in and out of the Bab al Mandeb the narrow entry to the Red Sea on their way to or from the Suez Canal. Every day well organised Somali pirates wait to kidnap a ship to be taken away to somewhere on the Somali coast to await ransom. This time the victim is a small luxury cruise liner, Sultan of the Seas with 490 passengers and 370 officers and crew.

The mastermind behind the capture is Somalian warlord Sheikh Ragnar, "the big banana of Somalian piracy". While a huge ransom is on the agenda, there is a danger that all of the hostages may be slaughtered. Jake Grafton is assigned to negotiate with the Sheikh, while a team of CIA and Navy SEAL operatives, including his right-hand man Tommy Carmellini, mount an undercover operation to rescue the hostages. This is vintage Grafton and Carmellini with plenty of fast-paced military and CIA action.

I have read and enjoyed all of the Jake Grafton series and this one certainly did not disappoint.

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