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28 February 2015

James Phelan: The Hunted

Surprisingly good military/terrorist thriller
This is a surprisingly good military/terrorist thriller - there are so many books in this genre but this one stands out because it is different. It also has a great "hero" who could give Lee Child's Jack Reacher a run for his money.

Jed Hunter has been an Air Force SEAL, a CIA operative and is now working for an elite UN team of multinational investigators on loan from the world's best law enforcement and intelligence communities. He is big, strong, and dangerous - he can take on many tough players and win - a bit of a Jack Reacher but probably more strategically intelligent.

Something is out of control. It is called "Zodiac" and somewhere there are 12 cells waiting to carry out attacks that will do great harm to America. The real reason they are out of control is that the cells don't know about the other cells. All they know is that they become active after an attack by another cell is successful or thwarted.

In THE SPY (which I have yet to read) Hunter helped to thwart an attack on the New York Stock Exchange. Hunter has just come back from the dead when he disappeared for a while to avoid danger after that attack. His father, who may have floated the idea of Zodiac when he was with the CIA, is also reported dead but Jed believes he is in hiding somewhere and can lead him to the next cell.

Someone has been killing members of the SEAL team that killed Bin Laden and there is only one left, holed up in a remote mountain area near the border of Arkansas and Missouri. Hunter and his team have to find him before others do.

This is a fast action, adrenaline packed page-turning adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat as Hunter tries to find the last SEAL and prevent another major terrorist attack. Phelan writes great tightly worded action-packed prose with short chapters moving from one action zone to another. At times it was hard to keep up with the many organisations and people who were part of the action - the UN, FBI, CIA, military, MI5 and the rogue cell members, some of whom are part of the other organisations.

Of course, whatever happens Zodiac will automatically awaken another cell for another terror plot.

This is the first time I had read a book by Melbourne based author James Phalen and I was very impressed by his ability to write a nail-biting and different book in this genre. Although the action precedes this book I intend to read THE SPY to give me a better perspective of Zodiac and Hunter.

My thanks to The Reading Room and Hachette Australia for a copy of this book for my review.

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