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
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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