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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Global Predator by Jack Maclean

An engaging and intense military thriller set in dangerous areas of Pakistan.
Global Predator
by Jack Maclean
  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Publisher: (June 19, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00L5M4L0C
Genre: Military Thriller
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: June 19, 2014
High above the mountains of the North West Frontier, a Global Predator circles waiting to unleash its Hellfire missiles. The trail of Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, the elusive Egyptian terror master, Ayman al-Zawahiri has gone cold until a chance recording identified by a translator at the National Security Agency offers new clues. A special intelligence team assembles and plots to catch at him at a meeting with other high ranking al Qaeda leaders. In Pakistan’s beautiful Swat Valley, the local Taliban have been stepping up their attacks on anyone educating girls. English aid worker Sally is taken hostage while visiting one of her schools. When Wilkins, escaping his reckless trading mistakes at his London bank, is forced to rescue her, he finds himself trapped in a world of blind fear and terror. Only one person can now make sense of what is happening and stop a massacre of innocent schoolgirls.

Faiza is an Afganistan born member of the National Security Agency (NSA) team seeking to locate and eliminate Ayman al-Zawahiri, a Eqyptian, Taliban terrorist. Faiza has been hired for her multi-linguist skills but she has a personal vendetta against al-Zawahiri and is determined to destroy him. She is working closely with the team using drones for covert intelligence in Pakistan where they have tracked al-Zawahiri.

Sally is a 28 year old living in the Swat Valley of Pakistan where she teaches young girls and distributes teaching supplies for the Grassroots Literacy Foundation. Although she is one of the few foreign women in the area she is dedicated to helping women in Pakistan.

Sally is an old college friend of Wilkins, a genius who has had his own investment racket behind his position at a prestigious investment bank in London. Wilkins decides that Pakistan would be a good place to hide out when his activities are about to be exposed and he isn't above using Sally's friendship.

The drones are a primary element of the story as they are used to hunt the enemy. If the wrong people, innocent people, are killed it would be disastrous for the Americans and their drone program. The team is caught in the dilemma of having to prove the capabilities and importance of the drones while in a real time race making quick intelligence decisions without giving away their advantages to the enemy on the ground.

The story-line follows Wilkins in Pakistan as he inadvertently stumbles into a Taliban terrorist meeting and then has to back peddle his way out. Wilkins, Sally and some other friends are walking into perilous situations as the Taliban try to bait the American drones.

Wilkins is initially not a very likable character. He might be brilliant and charming but he is a conman and a liar. Later the author attempts to transform his personality into something more sympathetic. Sally is very likable and a commendable character. Anyone who would stay to help others in such an atmosphere of hate and danger is to be respected.

There were quite a few characters which made this a little difficult to follow at first. Once they were all sorted to their positions – army, civilians, friend or foe Pakistan– it flowed easier. However, even then there were chapters that seemed to describe events that were earlier than the chapter before which made for confusion in chronology.

There is plenty of tension and suspense as there are many chances for misinterpretation of the intelligence being observed from a distance, especially after the agent in the field is executed.  There were several spots where I was on edge waiting to see who would survive.

I found the descriptions of the country, the people and their struggles to be grim and gripping. The author manages to raise thought provoking issues beyond the moral issues related to the characters. There are economic and humanitarian concerns, war against terrorist dangers and issues of political correctness. In spite of the character and time-frame confusion the story is active and engaging. I recommend it to those who enjoy suspense action in a timely terrorist scenario.

Editing note: There were numerous editing errors in the version I read. I do hope that this was due to it being a NetGalley ARC and that the final version has been cleaned up.

I received this ebook through NetGalley for an honest review.

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