Review: The Lost Codex

The Lost Codex

The third OPSIG Team Black book, The Lost Codex manages to sink lower than the first two-by a considerable amount. The bulk of the actual book is the most bland, clunky thriller against the most bland, generic terrorists imaginable, falling straight into the trap of being too “normal” to be bombastic but too exaggerated to be truly realistic.

This time, profiler Karen Vail is close to being a main character, and is handled in the worst possible way. She’s Miss Infodump and Miss Dragged Along Because The Plot Demands and , finally, Miss Action Heroine all in the same book.

But the icing on the cake is a barely connected bit of Dan Brown-style “secret religious history”. This is only linked to the “shoot the terrorist” plot in the thinniest, clumsiest way, and adds essentially nothing save for giving the book its title and a chance to sell it as being like Clive Cussler. It’s not. It’s worse. A lot worse.

 

Review: OPSIG Team Black Hard Target

OPSIG Team Black: Hard Target

Fuldapocalypse has finally achieved a milestone. Between this and The Zone Hard Target, I’ve finally reviewed two books with the same title. After an assassination attempt on the vice president and president-elect occurs, the protagonists race to conduct an investigation.

The book is a little overstuffed, including an appearance by FBI profiler Karen Vail, another Jacobson character who has her own series. It has a tawdry love story and the main plot and a bunch of pushed-in-characters like her. In spite of the legitimate (if misguided) research, it has some obvious plot gaffes, like using a common 7.62x54mm round as a smoking gun (pun partially intended) when a more exotic caliber would have made a lot more sense.

But what’s worse is that it’s mixed with many of the elements of an over-the-top thriller (including a final twist that’s actually similar to something that happened in a Blaine McCracken book) that are sadly shackled to a plodding and grounded-in-all-the-wrong-ways “shoot the terrorist” story. Finally, the characters, including the main protagonist, aren’t very likeable or interesting either.

That being said, it’s still not the absolute worst cheap thriller out there. But there are definitely better ones by far, and there are many more I’d recommend ahead of this.

Review: The Hunted

The Hunted

huntedcover

Alan Jacobson’s The Hunted is the first entry in his OPSIG Team Black series of thrillers, although the later ones wouldn’t be written for some time after the initial publication date of this in 2001.

Reviewing this book was a little difficult. As I’ve said many times, I’m not the biggest fan of straight-up cloak and dagger books, which this definitely is. That being said, it’s kind of middling and feels (not surprisingly given its nature) like a smoothed-edges “grocery store thriller.” The climax is well-done, but getting there can be a slog.

The only thing that really jumped out for me was the book giving a “secret history” explanation for the death of Vince Foster, making the antagonist responsible. But even that tidbit can’t sustain this sluggish book.