Monday, March 7, 2016

"Patriot" (Alex Hawke #9) - Ted Bell

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Since I sucked at reading in February, I'm continuing the month's theme, Unfinished Series, part way into March. I have a few books carrying over from February, as well as, a few ARC's but then I will be able to get to my never-ending stack of books I have bought or received in giveaways but haven't been able to read yet for March's theme! I am a huge fan of the Alex Hawke series by Ted Bell. Today's review is the most current book in the series, Patriot. Each book continues the story of Lord Alexander Hawke, so it's a good idea to start at the beginning with Warrior, the first book in the series!

On a beautiful day off the coast of Maine, an esteemed former CIA director and expert sailor is found dead on his sailboat, his head bashed in after what seems like a horrific accident.  Half a world away in Paris, another senior CIA officer dies of a heart attack while making love in a posh hotel room. When counterspy Alex Hawke hears the news, and other recent CIA deaths under suspicious are discovered, he suspects these are more than coincidences. Hawke believes the deaths can be tied to one source: Spider Payne, a rogue intelligence officer whose exploits got him fired by the CIA. Now the former star agent seems to have evolved into a serial killer -- and it looks like MI6 officer Alex Hawke is directly in his line of fire. 

But Spider isn't the only ex-intelligence operative with a grudge. Texan colonel Beau Beauregard founded an international mercenary fighting force that gave him both worldwide prestige and sizeable fortune. Now he's lost it all as the worldwide press, and soon clients like the U.S., Russia, and China, blame him for amassing an army of hired renegade killers rather than soldiers. Beau sets his sights on enemy spies who've betrayed him. And he won't stop until they've all be eliminated. 

In an increasingly corrupt and dangerous Russia, Vladimir Putin is determined to forge his country into a formidable superpower once more. His dream is to redraw the map of Europe to his liking, and he'll stop at nothing to realize his global fantasies -- including shooting down a Russian Aeroflot airliner full of men, women, and children. Meanwhile, Putin's Kremlin scientists are developing a radical new weapon that could forever alter modern warfare. NATO knows Putin will not hesitate to use it. But they feel powerless while they've locked in a tense standoff as Russian Army forces are arrayed on Eastern Europe's borders. Only one man can bring the world back from this apocalyptic brink: Alex Hawke. Can he evade stalking assassins while finding a way to neutralize Russia's threat? In the murky world of counterterrorism and high-stakes intrigue, the odds against him -- and any hope of success -- have never been higher. 

Another round of applause for Ted Bell. If you're looking for a great thriller series, with each book keeping you hanging on until the end, then this series is for you! Alex Hawke is a great character. There is a multitude of levels to his character that continues to build throughout each book. I can't get enough of him. This book was no different. The story goes back and forth between Hawke, Beauregard, and other characters, a common consistency with these books. I like the alternating points-of-view. One thing that was sometimes difficult to follow in this book was the amount of locations throughout the book. While this is a common trend for Bell in the series, I felt this book had more than usual. I enjoyed the expansion of Hawke's relationship with Putin in this book. It's something that has been present in the past few books but not as prevalent as it was in this one. It was an interesting perspective into the Kremlin and interworkings of the old KGB. Bell is an amazing writer. He continues to impress me with each book from his character dynamics to the use of vocabulary he writes and the way he sets up every scene and relationship. I just wish he could write them faster!!

As always, feel free to share any thoughts, comments, or suggestions. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading fools :)

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