“Saddam wasn’t a Bond villain. He was a thug in a white suit. He didn’t want to blow up the world. Just to pick its pockets.”
Chris Rogers is a war veteran. He sits in his wheelchair waiting for someone to come. When that someone arrives, he’s going to kill him.
This opening to Hurt Hawks (US) is full of power. It shows off many of Miner’s outstanding qualities. The guy seems to have sixth and seventh senses. He is able to perceive the world through the physical being of his characters and the shadows they create. This ability offers a dimension to his work that is rare. The prose becomes poetic at times and he mingles a dream-like quality to concrete events. In this way, he gets deep under the skin and paints a world of many layers in a way that I really enjoy.
What follows in this tale is a world of war, survival and revenge. People do what they have to do in response to loyalties and codes that aren’t always in their own best interest. In many of the situations created it would be so much easier to walk away. For Captain Patrick Donovan and his crew, this option isn’t even on the table. They are set on paying back Chris Rogers and his family for services rendered and they’ll stop at nothing until all debts are paid.
The main thread of the story, that of the war vets coming together to fight new battles on home soil, is gripping. Outcomes are never predictable. Surprises are thrown in from many unseen angles. I loved it. If there’s any issue with the book for me, it is that I was so hooked into this central plot that tearing me away from it to open doors to the back-story proved problematic. The past is an essential aspect of the work, yet I might have preferred a more direct telling. It’s a minor issue, though, and wouldn’t prevent me from heartily recommending this as a read.
Miner has produced some amazing fiction to date. I suspect that there is plenty still to come and I, for one, intend to be there to watch this talent unfold.