Michael Stephen Fuch’s BLACK SQUADRON looks pretty good.
Black Squadron is a secret cadre within DEVGRU (aka SEAL Team Six), consisting of master sniper and recon experts who carry out sensitive and dangerous advance force operations (AFO) in the most lethal cesspools and ash-heaps around the war-torn globe.
They are an elite within an elite (within an elite).
But now they are being deployed to the darkest heart of the last days of the blood-drenched Syrian civil war, where they are surrounded by thousands of Syrian regulars, dozens of head-hacking Islamist militias, the hardest of the hard-core ISIS and al-Qaeda remnants, fierce Kurdish Peshmerga freedom fighters, ruthless Iranian Qods Force agitators, as well as Putin’s hyper-lethal and utterly merciless pipehitters from Spetsnaz GRU.
They’ve also been saddled with a blocking force, a platoon of US Army Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment – a unit that has fought in every U.S. engagement from the invasion of Sicily to Black Hawk Down. The Rangers are upright, loyal, and never leave their brothers behind.
But now the Rangers may be the only ones who can stop a rogue Black Squadron from leaving everyone bleeding out in the street – and also kicking off a shooting war between two nuclear powers.
It’s Black Hawk Down meets Training Day in this explosive collision of two legendary special-operations units battling to survive and prevail in the most dangerous city on the planet.
The U.S. Atlantic fleet is in a race to stop a rogue Russian submarine–funded by ISIS–en route to launch a missile attack against the east coast of the U.S.
A shoulder-launched missile attack on a convoy of vehicles leaving the U.N. headquarters in New York kills several diplomats, including the American ambassador. Security footage reveals that the killer behind the attack is a disgraced former special forces operative, Mark Alperi. But before U.S. intelligence operatives can catch up with him, Alperi is already onto the next phase of his plan.
With funding from the nearly shattered ISIS, Alperi plans an attack on the U.S. that will be more devastating than 9/11. He bribes a desperate Russian submarine commander with access to an expensive experimental drug for his daughter who is suffering from a rare disease. In exchange, the Russian commander will take his submarine to the Atlantic Ocean and launch a salvo of missiles at various targets along the East Coast of the United States. The commander lies to his crew that it’s a secret mission, with dummy missiles, for a training exercise. At the same time, unbeknownst to the commander, Alperi has arranged for four of the missile warheads to be replaced with four surplus nuclear warheads and arms them.
When the Russian submarine sinks the U.S. sub that is tracking it, the U.S. military is alarmed. When Intelligence uncovers Alperi’s plot, though, it becomes a race against time–find the Russian sub and sink it before it can launch a devastating nuclear attack.
RICK CAMPBELL, a retired Navy Commander, served on four nuclear-powered submarines, finishing his career with tours in the Pentagon and the Washington Navy Yard. On his last submarine, he was one of the two men whose permission is required to launch the submarine’s nuclear warhead-tipped missiles.
Upon retirement from the Navy, Rick was signed by Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press for his novel – The Trident Deception, which was hailed by Booklist as “The best submarine novel since Tom Clancy’s classic – The Hunt for Red October”. Rick lives with his wife and three children in the greater Washington, D.C. area, and is under contract for the fifth and sixth books in this series, sequels to The Trident Deception, Empire Rising, Ice Station Nautilus, and Blackmail. To learn more, visit Rick Campbell’s website and his “Submarine 101” page at www.rickcampbellauthor.com.
After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure.
Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he’s paralyzed by survivor’s guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn’t left him.
In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive—Matt Drake.
Author Don Bentley bursts onto the thriller scene like a bowling ball!!! Without Sanction, the first Matt Drake book is a THRILLER in every sense of the word. It has everything a thriller buff would want in a story. Great characters, high stakes, superb plotting, gripping conflict…It has it all. There’s good writing–and then there’s exceptional writing that jumps off the page into a blistering page-turner. That, is WITHOUT SANCTION. I love how Bentley places the beginning of the story with Matt Drake contemplating his demons from the past. I believe it’s called, In media res, if I’m not mistaken. This immediately hooks the reader from the get-go and leaves us wanting more. This wasn’t a typical bare-knuckles brawl action adventure–it had superb plotting, with Matt Drake undergoing a complete character arc. Those are the absolutely BEST stories to read.
Without Sanction was aptly named given the circumstances DIA agent Drake was put in. Absolutely no mercy! He really gets put through ringer. On the verge of quitting, he gets called back into the game by hard-ass James Glass; and sent on a mission into one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Syria.
I have to say at this point, I consumed the audiobook version of Without Sanction narrated by Jack Armstrong. If you’re a thriller writer and haven’t invested in a quality narrator, you’re seriously missing out. Jack Armstrong nails it. He matches the tone, spirit of the characters and the entire book. It adds an edge-of-your thrill to the overall reading experience. If Don Bentley isn’t on your radar yet–you need to do some serious reconnaissance.
“Sensationally good—I want more Matt Drake.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Don Bentley’s Without Sanction is seriously one of the most compelling debuts in recent memory. Brilliantly crafted and written, this book is a thoroughly riveting read and Don Bentley is an exciting new voice in the thriller world.” —Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author “Without Sanction knocks it out of the park! His hard won wisdom and experience from time downrange grip the reader from the first page to the last. Sign me up for an early read of book two!” —Jack Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Savage Son
The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world’s most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door.
Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him?
The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It’s a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake’s wiles to get out alive.
Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot during which time he was stationed in South Korea, Germany, and Texas. While deployed to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VI, Don was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with “V” device for valor. Following his time in the military Don worked as an FBI Special Agent and was a member of the Dallas Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.
Don is the author of the Matt Drake thriller series including WITHOUT SANCTION, THE OUTSIDE MAN, and two forth coming titles, as well as TARGET ACQUIRED, a Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Jr. novel.
Brad Taylor meets The Stand in a riveting novel of suspense kicking off a brand new series perfect for fans of the page-turning novels of A.G. Riddle, Mark Greaney, and Matthew Mather.
“One of the most singular and compelling heroines to come along in years.” —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author
“Snaps with action from the very first page.”—Marc Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of Stone Cross and of Tom Clancy’s Code of Honor
From John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, comes Crimson Phoenix—first in the new Victoria Emerson Thriller series. With America brought to the brink of destruction, one woman becomes the last hope of a nation and its people . . .
Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.
A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.
Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .
“Just the thing for readers who feel oppressed by the pandemic lockdown.”— Kirkus Reviews
“A gripping page-turner.” —Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author
“An explosive story that keeps your mind churning and pulse racing . . . Don’t miss this powerful new series from a master thriller writer.” —Jamie Freveletti, international bestselling and award-winning author.
BOOYAH!! You know what time it is! Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are back in AMERICAN TRAITOR #15
AND THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL.
Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are enjoying a sunny vacation down under when they get disturbing news: their friend and colleague, Clifford Delmonty, is in serious trouble. While working as a contractor at an Australian F 35 facility, the former Taskforce member—callsign Dunkin—saw something he shouldn’t have, and now he’s on the run from Chinese agents.
Pike and Jennifer soon discover that Dunkin’s attackers are a dangerous part of a much larger scheme that could launch a full-on war between China and Taiwan. In their quest for dominance, China is determined to reclaim Taiwan—an ally the United States has sworn to protect. Pike learns that the Chinese have a devious plan to bait the small island nation into all-out war by destabilizing the government while manipulating an artificial intelligence defense system.
As the threat of conflict reaches a boiling point, Pike alone realizes that what is being seen is not what is happening. A soldier who has always been trained to fight and win, Pike is now against an invisible enemy—one he can’t actually attack. With the help of a Taiwanese intelligence agent, he races to prevent a catastrophic conflict from consuming a whole region of the world—and the lives of his teammates.
Brad Taylor served for more than twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2010 as a Special Forces Lieutenant colonel. During that time he held numerous infantry and special operations positions, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment—Delta, popularly known as the Delta Force, where he commanded multiple troops and a squadron.
He has conducted operations in support of U.S. national interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations. His final military post was as Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel. He holds a master’s of science in defense analysis with a concentration in irregular warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
When not writing, Brad serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats to various agencies. He currently lives in Charleston, SC, with his wife and two daughters.
For the last twenty years America’s drone program has provided the nation with an unparalleled advantage in the skies over every battlefield from Pakistan and Afghanistan to North Africa and Syria.
But what if a foreign power managed to obtain that same capability? Not by developing their own, but by stealing a Reaper and its compliment of missiles from the Central Intelligence Agency. And what if that nation’s leader, desperate to increase his influence in the Middle East, comes up with a plan to turn every country in the region against the United States?
Tensions are at the breaking point as scores of innocent civilians are killed in seemingly random drone strikes across the Middle East. With all evidence pointing directly at Washington, protests and demonstrations erupt in front of U.S. embassies and consulates with a ferocity not seen since the Arab Spring.
Time is running out as CIA operative Joe Matthews and his team of paramilitary officers try to find the rogue drone before an emergency meeting of the Arab League votes to expel all American personnel from the region.
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. – Mason Cooley
About David Austin
Dave Austin has over twenty-five years of experience working in the field of protective operations. While serving with the Central Intelligence Agency, he has protected cabinet-level officials, chiefs of station, and case officers in a wide variety of locations around the world.
In 2005 Dave left government service and put his skills to work in the private sector where he currently leads the executive protection team for one of the world’s largest corporations.
Prior to joining the CIA, Dave served in the Army as an infantryman and was assigned to the Third U.S. Infantry, “The Old Guard,” the Army’s oldest active-duty infantry unit. As the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the president, The Old Guard is also responsible for securing Washington, D.C. in times of crisis.
Dave is the author of Tehran’s Vengeance and Drone Strike. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @daveaustinbooks.
It is an ordinary day in Marco Venetti’s quiet coastal parish—but the woman who’s come to confess is not ordinary. Marco has always been drawn to beautiful Elena, and she brings news that will shatter his peace.
Elena’s sister and daughter have been kidnapped, to force her to bring a gang of ruthless men into the country—if she doesn’t, her family will be brutally killed. But if she obeys, many more innocents will die… In her desperation she turns to Marco, knowing his time in the military has given him the skills she needs. Determined to protect her, Marco draws on the violent past he has tried to forget.
A terrifying battle on a rocky island offshore leaves no survivors. But after the last man is dead, Marco finds a note on one of the men’s bodies, a map that reveals their ultimate goal: a deadly terrorist attack on the Vatican City itself.
Marco and Elena find themselves racing to reach the Vatican City, and stop the deadly threat against the pope. But Marco quickly realises that his mission isn’t over. Accompanied by a CIA assassin, Marco must prevent a deadly weapon falling into the wrong hands or see a truly apocalyptic outcome. Once more he must confront his own darker nature, and decide whether a man of God can justify going to war…
I’m a few chapters in and this book is AMAZING. Author Peter Hogenkamp puts you right into the scene with a bang from the beginning. I LOVE the feel of this book so far. It gives you a genuine taste of Italy, a good foretaste of thrills in the Vatican, and off the shores of Rome. My impression of The Vatican Conspiracy isn’t like anything I’ve so far this year. I’m loving it. Don’t miss it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR PETER HOGENKAMP
Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author of medical fiction and thrillers living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter’s writing credits include The Intern (TouchPoint Press, April, 2020); The Vatican Conspiracy (Bookouture/HachetteUK, October, 2020), and Doubt (Bookouture/HachetteUK, April 2021.) He can be found on his author website, www.peterhogenkampbooks.com, as well as his personal blog,PeterHogenKampWrites, where he writes about most anything. He is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Here, a literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, agents, editors, publishers and poets. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter was a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore Award as well as a top finalist for the 2020 Vermont Writer’s Prize. He tweets–against the wishes of his wife, four children and feisty Cairn Terrier, Hermione–at @phogenkampVT. He can be reached at his Facebook page: Peter HogenKamp
The civil war is over, but the struggle for power is just beginning …
In the aftermath of a devastating civil war, America has fallen into anarchy and chaos. Los Angeles is divided into different territories controlled by criminal organizations. Don Antonio Moretti has won a slice of the pie but is hungry for more. In his quest for power, he sends his nephew and a small crew to Mexico, to negotiate a new deal for their staple product, while the don returns to Italy for some unfinished business.
While the crime families battle for power in LA, Dominic Salvatore and his elite team at the LAPD fight tirelessly to stem the rot. But their fight often seems futile in a force rife with corruption. Dom s father, Ronaldo, is a deputy fighting to secure the border, but when intel arises about his missing daughter, he leaves Los Angeles for the desert wastes, to find her and bring her home.
After a surprise assault on Task Force Ember’s secret compound in Virginia by Russian covert operators, John Dempsey and his teammates are mourning their dead and trying to put the pieces back together. But in the ever-evolving world of shadow warfare, there is no respite for heroes or victims. Russian spymaster Arkady Zhukov, the mind behind the attack on Ember, is at it again—directing false flag operations to destabilize Ukraine and enable Russia to seize control of the Black Sea.
The American President designates Arkady and his Zetas a clear and present danger to the United States. Dempsey and his team are tasked to systematically eliminate each and every Zeta agent around the globe. But when American and Russian covert operations collide in Kiev, the “new Cold War” goes from a simmer to a boil. Escalation ensues, bringing America and her allies to the brink of world war. Unless Dempsey and Task Force Ember can derail Russia’s secret plans, the collateral damage could bring the world to its knees.
Cover Task Force Ember after suffering a devastating blow by their Russian counterpart, Zetas, are out for blood and vengeance. Collateral Tier One Book #6 begins with this platform and quickly springs into action! John Dempsey and company are still reeling from a near total annihilation, but they haven’t given up the fight yet. Far from it. The dark arts of covert warfare, brutal assassinations, a high risk rescue operation, geopolitical maneuvering with global implications of WWIII. This book has it all! My favorite writing duo does not disappoint! An absolute pageburner!
Brian Andrews is a US Navy veteran, Park Leadership Fellow, and former submarine officer with a psychology degree from Vanderbilt and a masters in business from Cornell University. He is the author of three critically acclaimed high-tech thrillers: Reset, The Infiltration Game, and The Calypso Directive, and co-authors the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon best-selling TIER ONE thriller series with Jeffrey Wilson.
Jeffrey Wilson is the award winning author of four supernatural thrillers: THE TRAITEUR’S RING (2011), THE DONORS (2012) and FADE TO BLACK (2013) and the upcoming JULIAN’S NUMBERS (2016). He is also the co-author of two military/covert ops thriller series with Brian Andrews. For Thomas & Mercer Jeff and Brian write the TIER ONE covert ops thriller series, with TIER ONE coming summer of 2016 and WAR SHADOWS in early spring 2017. For Cooked Lane, they write the Nick Foley Thriller series under the pseudonym Alex Ryan with BEIJING RED due out in May 2016 followed by HONG KONG BLACK in December. Jeff has worked as an actor, a firefighter/ paramedic, a jet pilot, a diving instructor, a Naval Officer, and a Surgeon. He served numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat surgeon with both the Marines and with a Joint Special Operations Task Force. Jeff and his wife, Wendy, are Virginia natives who, with children Ashley, Emma, Jack, and Connor, call Tampa, Florida home. He still works part time as a Vascular Surgeon and as a consultant for the Department of Defense when not hard at work on his next book.
This caught my eye. MILITARY FLYING–THE RISKIEST CAREER OF THEM ALL.
More military pilots die in training than at war. Is that really true?
Unfortunately, yes, it is true. The military reported just over 1000 major mishaps last year, a slight decline from 1,036 in 2018. Regarding aviation loss of life, the military lost a total of 13 service members who died in mishaps last year. The year prior, we lost 39 aircrew. In a recent example, six Marines died in a 2018 aerial refueling collision when the tanker and fighter jet collided. It is a dangerous and unforgiving business.
Sometimes aircraft maintenance issues cause the errors, other times it is the pilot or an aircrew error. Causes can be all over the map, from weather to not flying enough. This novel has many themes, and one of them is on the mishap investigation process and what it is like to help determine the cause of an accident.
My point in writing the opening line you’re asking about is that high-performance flying is very dangerous, whether you are in peacetime or wartime. The danger is real 100% of the time, day or night, sun or rain. You have to be on your game, all the time, when you are in the aircraft.
In The Buffalo Pilot, how does the family tradition affect the relationship between Air Force Reserve Major Ford Stevens and his brother Charlie?
Some people say that it’s lonely at the top when you’re in charge. Modern day management and leadership books discuss this very issue. It’s tough being in a leadership position, and what makes it tougher is when you have family members in the same organization. It’s a unique dynamic. The person in the leadership or managerial role can’t play favorites, and you have to enforce the rules and maintain the same standards as everyone else.
I thought it would be a unique look at the human condition to focus on this struggle for a story. Our squadron commander, Ford Stevens, now has his younger brother, Charlie, in the flying unit.
Many readers may not know that family members do serve in the same Reserve and Air National Guard units across our 54 states and territories.
Since this is your third book, has your writing process changed since penning The Devil Dragon Pilot?
I still follow the same process by scouring current events in the news, being curious about why certain decisions are made in the military, business or government, and devour books in a variety of genres. My personal reading load has increased to about 60 books a year and split maybe 75% non-fiction and 25% fiction. If I combine my reading load with long-distance running, the ideas flow.
Generating a rough outline to give a good start helps, but I learned from author David Baldacci to never stick to it and not divert. I never really know where the characters will take me. Observing and being curious is the special combo, and the ideas are everywhere for that certain character accent, piece of clothing or major storyline. For “The Buffalo Pilot,” the connection to organized crime will catch people off guard. One just needs to look around to find the ideas for their own writing process.
What’s the best thing about writing military aviation thrillers?
The military is just a smaller snapshot of American society. Working in human characteristics of topics like alcoholism, cancer, PTSD, unique family dynamics, and career success and failure, and linking it to a dangerous career such as flying, is what makes a story come off as authentic. These are real situations that many people are faced with in life, and sometimes dangerous professions have the same challenges as non-dangerous professions. Writing about the highs and lows of the flying professions, the people in them, and their families, is what makes the stories unique. While my stories do have heroes, I like to focus on their faults as well. The readers tell me that’s what keeps it real, and what I like to refer to as being authentic. Because I wore the flight suit as a pilot, I write from personal experience.
What’s one thing you’d like readers to know about The Buffalo Pilot?
“The Buffalo Pilot” focuses on the men and women of the Reserve Component portion of the U.S. military. You would never know by looking at someone uniform if they serve in the Air Guard, Reserves, or in the Active Component on full-time active duty. These are the men and women in your communities who serve in a traditional, part-time capacity, but do a full-workload that’s not known to many neighbors.
These Reserve Component members work nights, weekends, and go away for weeks and months at a time, while maintaining the same standards. They also have entire separate careers in every job field imaginable, and leave their jobs and family to serve in the military when they are called. It’s a real sacrifice that often goes unnoticed in the media, film, and television works.
I wanted to highlight this sacrifice and give credit though this third book to my former flying squadron, the 914th Air Wing at Niagara Falls. A tremendous group of individuals from western New York, mostly Niagara Falls, Rochester, and Buffalo. I loved these fellow aircrew and this novel is a nod to them.