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03 October 2013

John Gilstrap: Soft Targets

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A new or old prequel?
FBI Special Agent Irene Rivers is horrified to learn that because of mistakes by agents under her command a murderer and child molester has been able to walk free. Irene is devastated with this happening on her watch but is even more devastated when she goes home and finds her two girls are missing and a note saying if you contact the FBI "I will know and I will kill them".

Surprisingly the first person she contacts is a best friend Dom who has just become a Catholic priest. Even more surprisingly Dom tells her to wait and he will find someone who can help her. This is the first time that Irene will meet covert operators extraordinaire, Jonathan Grave (Digger) and his close companion Boxer (Big Guy). Irene then gets her first lesson about how the bad guys can be dealt with outside the legal system that she has served for so many years.

This is the first of the series of action-packed escapist special ops thrillers featuring Jonathan Grave so you could call it a prequel, especially as it is only novella length. What is not clear to me is whether Gilstrap wrote this novella recently as a prequel to tell us more about the early history of Digger and Irene (many other authors are doing this kind of thing to spice up a long running series) or whether it is a release of an earlier unpublished book that has not been edited to bring it up to date. I think it is the latter because the book has lots of dated things mixed into the action, dot matrix printers, buying a map, and incredulity when Digger produces a pocket sized cell phone.

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