Flashpoint Quebec: Operation Joint Suppression
Lots of cheap action thrillers take place in the Middle East. Lots of cheap action thrillers take place in Eastern Europe. But Michael Karpovage’s Flashpoint Quebec: Operation Joint Suppression is a military cheap thriller that takes place in the exotic and ferocious land known as Canada. Just from the premise, I knew I had to get it.
Who and What
A US Army unit of the 10th Mountain Division is sent into Canada to fight a battle against Quebecois militia that have been reinforced with stolen Abrams tanks and French-supplied missiles. They fight the battle.
This is an independent 2003 book, so it has some very rough prose and a general lack of polish. The best example of this is the excess of extremely long, blocky paragraphs throughout the entire book. The characterization is either nonexistent or extremely blatant (one Quebecois fighter is this beer-drinking teenager who shows up, destroys a transport plane, and then dies.)
DEEP HISTORY OF TEM
This has the perils of “misdirected research”. There’s infodumps, including a very long one on the mast sight of the OH-58 Kiowa. Yet there’s also unforced errors like very off LAV gun calibers and a sabot round (CAPITALIZED in the book when it shouldn’t be) acting like a HEAT shaped-charge round.
Just the entire premise of the book, for one. And the Quebecois having tanks and super-missiles. And the whole ‘French Sphere of Influence’ thing. This is all handled very matter-of-factly without either comedy or drama.
The action is sincere and detailed but unpolished. There’s some misguided infodumps, and the prose feels a little flat. In a well-intended but ultimately unsuccessful attempt at making it look “gritty”, Karpovage simply lays on the gore.
The Only Score That Really Matters
This is a well-intended book that nonetheless takes a ridiculous situation completely seriously and doesn’t have much polishing. It’s not the worst, but I still view it, like Ian Slater’s USA vs Militia novels, as more of a novelty showing a strange opponent even by post-1991 thriller standards than anything else.