Thursday, May 23, 2019

Book Reviews Reloaded: No Fortunate Son

This article first appeared on East Niagara Post on July 28, 2015. It is repeated here as I work to put all my book reviews in one place. They will be posted on Thursdays or Fridays and only be altered from the original in that I will add publisher information and pages. Hopefully, by revisiting these reviews, other people might find a book they'd like to pick up for their own enjoyment.

No Fortunate Son - Brad Taylor
Dutton Publishing
407 Pages

It seems lately that there are many novels being written that highlight the United States being threatened by terrorism. Playing on the paranoia that we are all vulnerable, these books have become extremely popular. Imagine terrorists, instead of attacking the country outright, kidnap the loved ones of some of our important political leaders. If that doesn’t grab your attention and scare the heck out of you, I’m not sure what will.

No Fortunate Son by Brad Taylor is the seventh book in the Pike Logan series. Logan and his partner and sometime girlfriend, Jennifer Cahill, lead a black-ops military outfit called the Taskforce. As members of various families are abducted, Logan is thrust into the search despite his relative unpopularity with the administration.

Manager of the Taskforce, Kurt Hale, sends Logan and his team into the fray, looking for the son of the Vice-President, and more importantly, Hale’s niece, Kylie. All signs point to a group of Islamic terrorists as the mastermind behind the dastardly plot. But is it all that simple? In a time where Muslims are the easy suspects in any terror related activity, is it all simply a cover for another group? Is the kidnapping of the VP’s son and Kylie somehow related? These questions send members of the Taskforce across Europe struggling to find the answers.

All indications is that this is a well coordinated attack against American interests. The hope by the culprits is that the United States will capitulate in order to save the lives of those so important to them. As the rest of the Taskforce chases threads elsewhere, Logan and Cahill follow their guts even though it appears they are way off base. This causes issues with the administration back in Washington, who already thinks that Logan is too “far off the reservation” and dangerous to himself and the public.

With his act first and think later personality, Logan bulls his way past ruse after ruse. He bulls his way closer to the truth. In the end, as always, Logan is vindicated in following his gut. Almost everyone gets out alive, at least on the side of the “good guys.”

I have read the previous six books in this series. While some events that took place in earlier books help to set the stage in No Fortunate Son, it is by means necessary to read the others in order to enjoy this installment in the series. There is action from end to end, and you’re not sure which of the “bad guys” is actually running the show. They don’t even seem to know themselves sometimes.

I like Brad Taylor’s thrillers for the most part. Anytime I see one on the new release shelf at the library, I try to grab it. One thing I’ve noticed in the last book and this book is Pike Logan’s personality. As these books have progressed, Logan becomes more and more of a parody of himself. The character never really seems to grow and asks himself the same questions over and over. He’s just an angry man who lashes out every time something doesn’t go his way.

In this book, most of the supporting cast is shuffled off to some other exotic locale, and we barely see much of them in the story. While Logan is quite definitely the lead, the stories in this series have always required an ensemble cast of characters. Too much time was spent on his brooding to the detriment of the other developed members of the cast. Honestly, these issues with the characters were my biggest disappointment, and it wasn’t really that bad.

The premise of the story is really well done. It is very scary to think about terrorists kidnapping loved ones as a means to promote their political agenda. This story is different enough in its approach to make one stop and think for a moment. In a very realistic scenario, your heart beats wildly in your chest as you pray for the freedom of these kidnapped people.

Brad Taylor is a former Delta-Force member who takes his real-world experiences to weave together heart-racing thrillers. In No Fortunate Son Taylor takes us on a ride that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I could not put it down once I started. You can pick up this book at your local library. Hurry, before you get put on the waiting list.

Craig Bacon thinks “Pike Logan” is an awesome name for a bad-ass mercenary. Then he remembers that Craig means “rock” and that Bacon is awesome.