Any Means Necessary
Jack Mars’ debut thriller in the Luke Stone series, Any Means Necessary, was interesting to comprehend. The way I appreciated it was something. The book itself stars super-agent Luke Stone as he battles a Cheap Thriller Evil Plot, and it’s the kind of cheap thriller that has one foot in action movies (read, the protagonist can stay awake for days and jump from a helicopter to a car, crash said car, and still be fine) and the other in 24.
Without spoiling anything, the antagonists shift midway from one cliche cheap thriller foe to another cliche cheap thriller foe. It’s very, very much a “21st Century Thriller” where the technothriller and action adventure genres (always closer than it sometimes seemed) kind of mushed together. And it’s definitely a “51% book”, the kind that’s perfectly fun and adequate, if not excellent even within its genre.
But as an independent novel it’s a different kind of “51% book”. If a mainline commercial 51% book is like a packaged pastry on a store shelf, independent 51% books like this are like the kind of homemade scratch-baked dessert that may not be the most sophisticated or even best-tasting, but still is good and has a kind of “heart appeal”. And this describes Any Means Necessary very well. It’s a homemade apple strudel of a book. And you could do worse than homemade apple strudels.