Plot: The plot is a thrilling read that transcends the clichés of the war-fiction genre. There are several plotlines in this book that, at times, seem excessive and overwhelming. However, the author manages to synergetically braid them for a final crescendo that leaves readers wanting more.
Prose/Style: The author delivers an exciting page-turner with clear and purposeful writing, masterfully avoiding over-complication and jargon. The wording is often blunt and works well for this type of narrative.
Originality: The plot is certainly original and fine-tuned, giving a hint to the author's research efforts. The subplots mirror real-world events without becoming predictable and formulaic.
Character/Execution: The book does not subscribe to a black-and-white definition of good and evil character traits, and this shows in how the characters are written. They exhibit a complex spectrum of personalities that lend further credibility to the development of the plot.
Date Submitted: July 28, 2020
Thrill-seekers will love Hines’s quick-paced dialogue and action scenes, though readers more interested in the relationships and motivations that keep the plot moving may be disappointed. The primary motivation for killing in this book is revenge, and though Hines contextualizes well for readers who missed Bishop’s War, the countless revenge killings in this installment may bewilder new and returning readers alike. Similarly, a major decision made by John’s wife, Maria, doesn’t make sense given what readers know of her character, leading to confusion that undermines the shock of the twist. With six different plot lines, it’s frustrating to have much of the story left to be resolved in a future book.
Where Bishop’s second outing succeeds is in being informative as well as entertaining. Hines breaks down military lingo for the uninitiated and shines a light on bigotry and corruption in both the U.S. Armed Forces and the government. His hero operates under a strict code of honor and sees the potential in all people to help save the day, whether they’re reformed assassins, hardened ex-cons, or simply the newest members of his team. Bishop is a war hero for the 21st century, and thriller fans will enjoy his bloody quest to save the day.
Takeaway: This exhilarating and violent thriller will please readers looking for non-stop action and a tough, honorable protagonist of color.
Great for fans of Walter Mosley, Danny Gardner, Lee Child.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B