Neal Maven returns to Boston from his tour in Iraq only to discover that the country he vowed to protect has little use for him now. Armed with a highly specialized set of skills he can't use and bitter toward the rest of his generation -- the men and women who remained stateside, and are therefore years ahead of him both personally and professionally -- Maven fears he is near his breaking point.
And then he meets Brad Royce. Royce is everything Maven wants to be: a fellow vet, charismatic and confident, principled, wealthy, and with a beautiful woman on his arm. Not just any beautiful woman, but Danielle Vetti -- the most stunning girl from Maven's high school. Literally the girl of his dreams.
Royce offers Maven a much-needed job, and Maven soon finds himself a part of Royce's team of "sugar bandits," a group of fellow veterans who use their military skills to intercept major drug deals, taking the dirty money while destroying the product -- a get-rich scheme with a clear moral imperative. Though exceedingly dangerous and certainly illegal, the efforts of these modern-day Robin Hoods provide Maven with the adrenaline charge he's craved since his decommission. Besides, Maven can't resist the chance to be in Danielle's orbit once again.
Suddenly, Maven's life is better than he ever thought possible: a soldier in a civilian's world, he is once again able to do something he excels at, and rediscovers the camaraderie he's sorely lacked since his return. He can get into any club, eat at any restaurant, be with any woman he wants -- except, of course, his dream girl.
It's almost too good to be true.
©2010 Chuck Hogan (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
I started to listen for a second time, but then I realized it wasn't so heavily detailed that I'd enjoy it again.
I related to the main character very well, it was easy for me to imagine the situations and emotions the author described, minus the criminal activity...
First listen for me, but he did a great job.
This book intrigued me. If it were to be made into a movie like 'Prince of Thieves', I'd definitely see it. However, the screenplay adaptation would have potential to be better. Parts of the book needed more detail. Some of the relationships between the characters needed better development. The beginning, character development, main parts of the plot, and the ending were well built, but the buildup was light, the suspense-driven juicy stuff wasn't juicy enough. That's the stuff that makes you crave the end just to see what happens.
I really enjoyed this book. Love the main character Maven. Torn between right and wrong after coming back from the sandbox, he's lost and looking for something to fill what he lost when leaving the military and his job, a spec operator. The performance of Jim Frangione was excellent.
The opposite of un-put-downable. If you like your thrillers to be stuffed with improbable plot turns, dimensionless characters, and incompetent prose, then this is the book for you. If you want dull narration, then this is the audiobook you've been waiting for. I couldn't finish it.
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