With a fortuitous run of luck, Pike manages to crawl out of that hole with the initially unwitting help of a college student who’s in deep kimchi without even being aware of it, for the most part. She realizes she’s in trouble, but not to the degree it turns out to be. Pike steps in, then steps in it. La merde hits le ventilateur, and the adventure is on! We’ve got Central American bad guys, Arab bad guys, and good ol' home-grown bad guys, all going after two people, Pike and the coed. How hard can that be? The tendrils of the American bad guys reach all the way to the highest offices of the U.S. government, which makes things... more interesting, let us say.
I can’t say much more of the plot since I don’t want to allow any spoilers to creep in, so you’ll have to take my word that this is one helluva read.
OK, now the downside. My only real complaint about the book is the first 175 pages. I felt it needs some serious editing to eliminate inclusions unnecessary or not integral to the plot. Also, there was a small amount of repetition, particularly in how Pike is beating himself up over the loss of his wife and child. Yes, it’s a horrendous tragedy, but the reader doesn’t need more than one or maybe two reminders.
There were also a couple of situations that didn’t seem to make sense. For instance, in one situation, Lucas, one of the home-grown bad guys, is speaking to himself of his boss, one of the chief bad guys in this book: “A weasel like every other politician. No honor. No belief in something greater than himself. Just whatever favor could be gleaned based on which way the wind was blowing.” Then, on the next page the author says of Lucas: “He had been working the civilian side of the defense industry for over a year now, and was beginning to hate it. Everything was about the almighty dollar. Nothing was about a cause, a goal greater than the individual. It disgusted him, and he wanted out.”