This s an interesting story that flows smoothly. Easy to follow and leaves one wondering what will happen next. It builds the characters personalities well.
The beginning drags a little. It needs more action or controversy. A run-in with the Italian leadership would have been good at this point. My biggest disappointment is how the book wraps up. There is too much missing after McCoy gets to the Philippines. How did he make it out? What about the trip back to the US and DC. What was Ernie doming while waiting/worrying if he had been killed. A post Pearl Harbor chapter about Pickering's activities is needed. It seems like two or three chapters are missing from the end of the book.
McCoy the main character and the most interesting. Pickering seemed much different in this earlier book than in the later ones. Everyone will find Stecker interesting although he is a small part of Semper Fi.
Dick Hill does an excellent job. At a few points, a bit more energy would be nice, but overall it was better than most.
Read my review of Brotherhood. DITTO it. These are excellent stories packed with a solid, fast moving and interesting story lines.
Robin Monarch is a great new character. Former petty thief and gang member from Buenos Aires turned special forces soldier and CIA operative, Monarch shows a unique ethos toward his job. The stories alternate between his formative time as a petty thief and his current assignment. This is sometimes hard to follow but an interesting way to dig into a character's motivation. Mark Sullivan packs a lot of interesting story and fast action into a small space. A new favorite for me. BEWARE - the "and other stories" is just one additional story which is Rendition. Rendition is also a separate audible selection, so don't buy both.
This is a WOW!!! of a story. Very well constructed, complex, compelling and fast moving. Some earlier comments compare it favorably with Lee Child and the Jack Reacher series. As a big Child fan - I wholly agree but add that the story has much more to it than (at least the most recent) Reacher stories. Reacher is more about the character and less about the specific situation. The Escape rests 90% on a strong story (cyber/chemical/WMD warfare, spying, treachery etc.) and adds several really great characters. The storyline is very up to date reflecting issues that are of real concern to international peace. It is not too overdone - reads somewhat realistic in terms of the fundamental problems.
The narration and unnecessary special effects are the weaknesses in the audiobook. The narration is not bad, but not at the high level of many other books (like those read by Dick Hill). The narration varies in pace throughout and is downright slow in some parts. The narrator's voice is pleasant and fits the characters well. There are some special effects dubbed in like gun fire, breaking windows etc. that are wholly unnecessary and, in my opinion, distracting. But there is not a lot of it so the consequence is small.
I found this book to be quite inconsistent varying from a bit slow and dull to marvelously entertaining and spell binding. It's a well woven story that begins with a young boy (Weldon) in rural Texas, the grandson of a tough local Sheriff, through his experiences as a hero in WW2 (where he rescued a death camp prisoner whom he later married), then through great business success and terrible personal and family difficulties. It seems to me that Mr. Burke picked up very well on the color and nature of the early post war years and the rural Louisiana and Texas cultures as well as the insidious corruption of the times. I am not a fan of the seemingly forced accent by the reader Mr. Patton, but must admit it grew on me as the book progressed. The beginning of the book was a bit slow and the transition from boyhood to the war was not very well connected. Likewise Weldon's separation from the Army after the war and return to Texas seemed a little abrupt. I found myself wanting to know a little more about this period in his life. The final third or so of the book becomes stunningly interesting as Weldon and his partner and family deal with corruption that aims to destroy their business and them personally. As other parts mentioned earlier, I found the ending to be abrupt and quite disappointing almost as if Mr. Burke tired of writing and simply wrote a few concluding paragraphs. Maybe it was an "artistic" ending intended to leave the reader/listener with their personal vision of the details about how it all worked out in the end - but I don't see it. I could easily rate this book anywhere from a low 3 to a high 5 with a couple of parts deserving no better than a 2. But in the end, I enjoyed it very much and found no part so poor that I was seriously tempted to shut it off (although I re-wound a few times to make sure I diid not miss something important). I strongly recommend the book. With a little patience in parts, the reader/listener will be well rewarded.
The only way one might determine this is a Jack Reacher story is that Dick Hill narrates it. Otherwise it is a completely uninteresting story that makes no sense.
If you, like me, think the TV series was among the best ever, you will absolutely love the book. A great reading. Humorous with incredible characters and a bit of Korean War history. In my opinion, MASH is the medical drama against which all others should be measured. Truly a timeless masterpiece.
The constant action and tension of the story is well written and in some moderation might even be enjoyable but each hour of this audiobook found me saying "you've got to be kidding me, this so ridiculous". Fiction requires some suspension of reality but this book goes into crazy territory. The many, many, many deadly situations and their resolutions are so far over the top , I found it impossible to enjoy the suspense and action. I feel fortunate that the first book I enjoyed (greatly) in this series was Dead Eye. If The Gray Man were the first, I would never have tried another. There is a lot of background buildup to paint Colt Gentry ("The Gray Man") as a character but it's very much overdone and somewhat boring. The background is not necessary to enjoy the later books. My advice is to skip this one.
The "Gray Man" is or will soon become a legendary character. A smart and ruthless killer, he is vulnerable and human. He is a reluctant freelancer with a "code" and a desire to return to legitimacy but someone at the CIA desperately wants him dead. His personal angst and conflicts are deftly written into the story - not preachy or overdone - just woven in to build a complex character. A similarly trained and skilled operative is searching for the Gray Man as part of a CIA contracted kill team. The story develops in a well constructed and complicated way to a mano e mano between the two killers.The intensity, twists and action are enormously well crafted until the final showdown which, in my opinion, was very contrived and went on for much too long. This is a fast paced thriller that will be difficult to turn off. Like me, I'm sure you will be eager to move on to the next Gray man novel.
There is not a single slow moment in this book. The situations and characters are believable. The basic story line- feckless political leaders and an evil enemy will make ones' blood boil. The final confrontation (actually all of the heroic military action) is completely unrealistic - BUT it sure is enjoyable and exciting. The story is written in a crisp style. The dialogue, while a bit crude (you won't listen to this one with small kids in the car) fits the situation and adds to the tension and color of the characters. The military technical details are well explained and not overdone. They add greatly to the mental picture the book evokes. It was a great twist to have an Afghan hero(s). The twist at the end, in my opinion, elevated the story and underscored the personal commitment of the heroes and small mindedness of the politicians. If you like action and lots of wasted bad guys - this is for you.
The incorrect pronunciation of many medical terms was very irritating. Please re-record this correctly. Many of the stories were very basic and will bore those with some medical background but most are fascinating and all well presented, succinct and suspenseful for any layman. Beware that everyone will identify with symptoms in some of the stories so anyone with hypochondriac tendencies should avoid this.
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