16 March, 2013

#BookReview :: Certain Jeopardy by Jeff Struecker, Alton Gansky

This Review was Originally written for Indie House Books

 Six American men live behind a protective façade, their real work hidden from neighbors and friends. Different in countless ways, they are intimately the same in one: at any moment their lives can be altered with a phone call, and their actions may change the world.

They are Special Ops. And one team’s mission is about to hit certain jeopardy status when the discovery of an Al Qaeda base in Venezuela becomes secondary to thwarting the transport of a nuclear weapons expert from that training camp to Iran.

Informed by the true combat experience of Captain Jeff Struecker and finessed by award-winning novelist Alton Gansky, Certain Jeopardy is an immersing and pulsating fictional account of what really happens at every level of a stealth engagement: the physical enemy encounter, the spiritual war fought within a soldier, and the emotional battles in families back at home.

The story follows the lives of six special ops operatives and their immediate family. They live a kind of dual lives because they can never reveal what they really do. Their lives take an interesting turn with a simple phone call as three pairs of special ops soldiers move to a new assignment separately, yet together. As the lives of these six men change with the dire situations, so do the lives of their partners back home.

The character portrayal has been done to perfection as each character have their own personalities and quirks. The story is written from various point of views giving us an idea about what each of these people are thinking or going through. The six soldiers – ‘Boss’, ‘Colt’, ‘Doc’, ‘Junior’, ‘Shaq’ and ‘Goat’ – each have distinctive voice in the novel and together they made for a great cast. The plot is genuine and action packed without a single dull moment. From Al-Qaeda base in Venezuela to Nuclear weaponry in Iran, from kidnapping to abortion, this book covers a wide range of things. The only problem I faced was the author’s style of writing. I thought it to be a bit ‘dry’ and kept on wishing for a little more description of the surroundings and bit more expressive.

But what I loved the most about this book was its take on religion and faith. While some of the characters were Christians and they practiced their faith the others weren’t as keen. While the author made some points about faith at no point did it get too overbearing. Also, while the people in this line of work are truly appreciated, one often overlooks the struggles of their family. Spending lengths of time away from their partners, the wives have their own fights to live through.

The climax is the deal clincher though. I had a great time reading through this book and would recommend you to give it a try.

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