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Publisher's Summary

"Will leave you breathless." (Harlan Coben)

"When you pick up a Gilstrap novel, one thing is always true - you are going to be entertained at a high rate of speed." (Suspense Magazine)

It begins with a shocking act of vengeance. Barista Ethan Falk chases a customer into the parking lot and kills him. He tells police that years ago, the older man abducted and tortured him. Then Ethan's story takes an even stranger turn: He says he was rescued by a guy named Scorpion. Of course there is no record of either the kidnapping or the rescue, because Scorpion - Jonathan Grave - operates outside the law and leaves no evidence.

As Grave struggles to find a way to defend his former precious cargo without blowing his cover, he learns the dead man has secrets that trace to an ongoing terrorist plot against the heart of America. It's up to Grave and his team to stop it. But first they must rescue Ethan Falk - a second time.

"If you like Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, you'll love John Gilstrap." (Gayle Lynds)

"Gilstrap pushes every thriller button." (San Francisco Chronicle)

©2016 John Gilstrap, Inc. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    222
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    189
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    19

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    201
  • 4 Stars
    122
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hint: Play at 1.2x speed

Any additional comments?

The story was "OK to good" on the scale of interesting, but maybe slightly tainted by a hint (I think) of ideology about guns and cops. But assuming it is there, it is not to the point of ruining the book. What did initially start to turn me off was the readers odd cadence and lingering inflection. I decided to use the Audible Apps Playback Speed adjustment and found that by moving it to a slightly faster speed of 1.2x, the narration and dialogue became much smoother and more pleasant to the ear.
As for the story, it was an interesting plot line and one very different from the common thread. It is especially interesting to the extent it explores a VERY uncomfortable topic: Child abduction and rape. If that can be made more uncomfortable, it might only be possible by making the rapist male and the child an 11-year old prepubescent boy. No one (normal) finds anything about rape or child molestation comfortable, but I think our Western Society stills carries just a little extra angst with the discussion if the victim is a boy. But again, that is my take, nothing empirical. So back to the story, a boy of 11 is kidnapped and raped for 8 days before being rescued by 2 heroes whom he never knows the identity of or the exact way by which they came to recover him. Jump ahead 11 years and the boy, now a young man struggling with life sees who he believes is his former captor and in a blind fit, kills the man in public. He is then left trying to convince the prosecutors and the world that this "man" was a child rapist and kidnapper. Enter the former heroes that rescued Ethan 11 years before that discover Ethan has indeed killed the correct pervert, but they can not come forward because of their own criminal acts in saving Ethan and others like him. As a last plot twist, it comes to light that the dead perv has had his entire history erased, the police can not find out who he is, and the intelligence community speculates he may be associated with middle eastern terrorists intent on kidnapping government leaders and their families.
I guess my only quibble with the story is what felt like an abrupt ending. While all of the loose ends were tied up and nothing seemed to be left hanging, it just seemed to be THE END. Think of an author writing in great detail every little description then getting tired of writing, realizing that his publishers advance deadline is looming, so he just says the hell with it and in a few pages, solves all of the mystery and conflict.
Short answer good book and certainly makes you think a little deeper into the scourge of child abuse, rape, and human trafficking. No great surprise or mystery but worth the listen. Just remember ...1.2X.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator

I liked the book, not as much as others but the story line was intriguing.. I almost could not finish however due to the narrator. Really really bad!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worst narration ever!

Love this book series but want to return the book because the narration is so bad!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You have to get past narration

Great book. Hard to listen due to narration. Women characters very poorly done.
Inflections sometime over done.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor narration almost killed it

John Gilstrap has written a good police procedural/thriller with lots of action. Basil Sands gave a less than average narration that made it almost unbearable to finish. His narration was flat and there was no distinction between characters. This is one book I wish I’d listened to rather than hearing the disaster Sands created. John Gilstrap’s books/audiobooks are far to well written to suffer through this listen. I highly recommend reading this installment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Frighteningly close to our reality!

Well written well read!we must take care. $$ takes the place of zealots distorted causes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Distrust of Government

Would you listen to Friendly Fire again? Why?

I enjoyed the book, but found it unrealistic. It suggests that the author has a conspiracist’s view of our government. He contends that we must rely on heroes who have given up on working within the system to save us from our government’s incompetence. Our heroes always prevail against unrealistic odds.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

tight fast action

great action thriller with memorable characters. top notch, and I am picky.

the problem was the narrator's handling of main character's interior thought, but it was a disaster. Good points for great coverage of the multiple character voices. unfortunately, you always end up back in you main protagonist's head. it was sadly comical after awhile greatly disappointed in narrator. for those parts, sped up to 125 speed and cut the volume. it helped, but IT IS WORTH IT TO HEAR JOHN'S AWESOME THRILLER!



I

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I won't listen to any more from this author or the

What disappointed you about Friendly Fire?

Simplistic plot. Unrealistic combat scenes where the two good guys mow down 10+ well trained bad guys without a scratch. Goofy dialogue. The narrator's voice is annoying - like listening to Paul Harvey for 13 hours, and his attempt to voice women was overdone and made each woman sound like a "street lady".

Would you ever listen to anything by John Gilstrap again?

No

How could the performance have been better?

Let me count the ways.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I'll have to get back to you on that.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

exciting action book

A very good story, great characters and an excellent performance, all add up to a good fun story. will look for more by this fine author.