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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Book Review: SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Fox by Don Mann, Ralph Pezzullo

This is a fast-paced story of military action that includes personal elements giving it more depth.
SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Fox
by Don Mann, Ralph Pezzullo
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316377481
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (May 12, 2015)
  • Publication Date: May 12, 2015
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Military Thriller
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

In war-torn Syria, the heroes of the SEAL Team Six series defuse an ISIS warlord's explosive plot.
After a meeting with a CIA source in Istanbul ends in tragedy, SEAL Team Six Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker vows revenge. He suspects the men who attacked him and his contact are involved in the the latest and most harrowing scheme SEAL Team Six is charged with preventing, in a region that grows more volatile by the day.
Syria's government is unraveling, with the alliances among rebel groups increasingly complex and ISIS dangerously in the mix. Farid al-Kazaz, aka the Fox, leads the most threatening of the ISIS factions. The Fox believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the murder of the Fox's brother and is planning a sarin gas attack that would wreak havoc across not just Syria, but the entire Middle East. It's up to Crocker and the rest of SEAL Team Six to stop a ruthless killer and keep an explosive plan from detonating.
The SEAL Team Six series has been hailed by special forces veterans and members of the intelligence community as a fascinating, behind-closed-doors look at the real-life heroism of our country's bravest soldiers. Now, Mann and Pezzullo use their experience and insight to tell the story of a terrifying plot ripped straight from the headlines.

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker is finds himself and his situation contact under attack in Istanbul, ‘...Europe’s largest city..., twice the size of London.’ He doesn’t yet know why he and his team have been summoned but they are soldiers who come when called. He meets with his local government commander with two foreigners, a successful business man and a beautiful, if fierce looking, young woman. The business man conveys news of a sarin gas located in Syria that could fall into the hands of ISIS where it would be a devastatingly dangerous weapon. The Seal Team, if given the higher-up go-ahead, must sneak onto a foreign air force facility to capture the gas canisters before they fall into the wrong hands. Then they will have to out race several different factions of warring troops covering the territory between the base and Turkey.

In this area of hostile peoples, with different political and ideological motives, it is difficult to know who can be trusted. Before their job is over, the team has to hunt down betrayers and “the Fox” as threats are made against civilians out for nothing more than pleasure on an American vessel.

I enjoy the fast-paced military danger and stealth elements of this series. But there is more that makes the stories fuller. The author shares personal emotions of the primary character, including relationship struggles he faces with his wife and graduating daughter at home. These are stark realities that many of us who do not have family members in active, dangerous, military situations do not think of or appreciate as extra problems our soldiers have to cope with.

I also liked the depth of political history (sit rep) and sensory input that add background to the military story. This is a reminder that there are so many conflicting interests in the middle east that it makes it difficult to know who and how to help and more difficult to know who to trust. Stories like this help provide some understanding, and I guess provide a vague acceptance, of our troops involvement by taking the view that war against terrorism, and keeping our defenses secure, often requires action on foreign soil. There is also a portrayal of the unfortunate simple civilians who are caught in the gritty ravages of war that is not of their own choosing. This fuels the American penchant for seeking to help in humanitarian situations even when our help isn’t always wanted or appreciated.

The story has a good mixture of history, military action, intrigue and personal and emotional investment. The overall effect makes for an engaging reading experience. This is the second story I read in the series (Seal Team Six: Hunt the Wolf) and I find they can be read fine as stand-alones. I recommend this story (and series) to those who enjoy military suspense that includes some personal touches.

I received this title through NetGalley for an honest review. It is part of my NetGalley Challenge.

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