As you know by now, we review books that are like Jack Reacher. If you are still in the hunt for a great crime thriller then look at my past reviews or go to my shop HERE.
Every now and again I get asked to look at another genre of book by a publisher and this is one of those weeks when this book came across my desk or kindle! After looking at the synopsis I thought this could fit onto my site as it has a main character, a one man army against the bad guys. I thought “yes” this is just like a Jack Reacher book and could be as good as the amazing Lee Child novels.
For those who don’t know about the Lee Child books, we are used to seeing Jack Reacher, roaming from place to place, stumbling upon questions that need answers and making it his mission to put right what has gone wrong for individuals – but what about tackling threats to a nation, a religion or a whole way of life? I was intrigued by the title of this new book by T.R. Kurtz, and I was introduced to a different kind of hero in exactly this situation…
So what is the book about?
As terrorist threats increase, the world’s fragile peace is put at risk by groups who are desperate to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism and see Christianity destroyed. Operating in secret, the Catholic church’s intelligence agency, the Canonical Order, assembles a group of agents whose aim is to discover and thwart plots before they can become a reality.
Enter the main man, Chad Stryker…
Is Chad Stryker like Jack Reacher?
Tormented by the loss of his wife and living alone, fueled by anger and motivated by strong convictions, Stryker is a highly-skilled and sought-after ex-CIA officer who has been employed by Vatican Intelligence. He finds purpose and a new focus, taking part in clandestine missions on behalf of the Catholic church. His team operates under the radar, using the program name ‘Black Swan.’ Stryker himself is just the kind of guy we can admire and root for; he’s highly-trained and talented, physically impressive, strong and quick-thinking and yet hot-headed and compromised because of the sadness and loss he’s experienced. In this way, we can relate to him as a result of this more vulnerable and human side to his character. Jack Reacher has similar qualities but I feel that T.R Kurtz does bring out the vulnerability of Chad, which does make you root for him even more.
Why should I buy this book?
What makes this thriller so tense and compelling is the parallel between fictional events in the novel and the all-too-familiar news stories about terrorist attacks that we’re used to hearing about.
Running alongside the main events, we get to keep a close eye on Stryker’s personal struggles and attempts to resolve them. From intelligence chiefs to computer whizzes, the team he works alongside – Moldovan, Anderson, Divers, D’Orio and Navarre – all share in his journey and each member plays an important role in seeking to manage the mission and support their operative (just imagine a hi-tech, intelligence version of the A-Team and you won’t be far wrong!)
Is there any Jack Reacher style action?
The action begins when there is an attack on the Pope during a worldwide address on live television and the sudden realisation by the Canonical Order that it has failed to foresee and prevent this act of terrorism. Add to this the fact that the Pope had been speaking about the need to combat religious extremism and the stage is set for the agency’s greatest mission to date: to find those responsible and to prevent the greatest attack against Christianity that the world has ever known. Stryker’s mission takes him to the streets of Iraq, Dubai and eventually to Italy as secrets are revealed and the full story is far more terrifying than anyone could have imagined. Can he uncover the truth in time? And is it just possible that someone he knows could be attempting to jeopardise the operation as the clock ticks? Get ready for lots of gun fights, snipers galore and lots of descriptions of the weaponry kind of like MARK GREANEY’S GRAY MAN series.
So why should I Buy This Book?
There are a few extra touches that set the book apart from other thrillers. Each chapter of the book begins with a quotation from the Bible, and this sets the scene for the action that follows, similar to an introduction. This also seems to emphasise the solemn way in which the agents view their task. Kurtz also includes some fantastic detail about the technology available to the Canonical Order, and the array of gadgets and weapons available to Stryker on his mission. From hair-raising bike rides across the desert to adrenalin-pumping chases through the ancient streets of busy cities, this story’s twists and turns keep you guessing right up to the closing chapter. This story is an adventure to read, I was actually disappointed when it had finished. If you like Jack Reacher novels, if you like a good spy thriller, if you like the Punisher films, then this is the book for you, you can buy the book on this page along with other classic Jack Reacher style books.
I do hope Chad Stryker will be back for more in a new series.
Let me know what you think in the comments box below!!