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Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9780985438999
  • 312 pages
  • $27.99
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781734937619
  • pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781734937602
  • 312 pages
  • $17.99
Penance
Special Agent Alex Penance was the hot shot recruit out of Quantico, picked for early promotion before an evening of celebration turned to an unwitting slip of morality with a high-ranking senator's girlfriend. Abruptly stripped of his promotion and banished to the sleepy southern town of Sawyer, Mississippi, a disgruntled and embittered Agent Penance wallows in his sudden fall. Wanting nothing more than to find an exit to the town he wants to despise, he finds the people of Sawyer frustratingly charming, none more so than the attractive Assistant District Attorney, Annie Hunt. Together, Penance and Annie unravel a case of missing girls that leads them to the hands of a brutal drug cartel lieutenant that is boldly captured by Agent Penance. Swearing revenge, the weight of the entire cartel descends on tiny Sawyer, its residents having no choice but to take up arms with Penance in the lead as the town erupts into a full-fledged war.
Reviews
This swift-moving and violent actioner follows FBI agent Alex Penance as he must use his phenomenal fighting skills to battle Mexican gangsters. Penance was marked for promotion, but he gets exiled to rural Mississippi when he has a fling with a senator's girlfriend. The Las Piratas have been kidnapping girls in the area, and when Penance arrests a cartel lieutenant, the gang promises retribution. Along the way, Penance has several run-ins with the Whatcoms, a local family of criminals, and embarks on a tentative romance with local Assistant District Attorney Annie Hunt while planning for a showdown with the cartel.

Sjostrom (Patriot X) keeps the action on full boil, as Penance solves virtually every problem with violence. To quickly interrogate a suspect, Penance shoves his head through a window. Even a disagreement with the local district attorney quickly gets physical. And when he finds a young woman being preyed upon by her boyfriend in his car, his first reaction is to smash glass. Even a meeting with an FBI psychologist about his propensity for violence…turns violent. Occasionally, we glimpse a warmer side of Penance, as when he shares an empathetic moment with an overwhelmed single father, and his relationship with local police officer Bubba comes across as genuine. But the various character-driven subplots, including his love-hate relationship with the Whatcoms, get overwhelmed by the continual fracases.

Indeed, most of the characters are either dishing out violence or defending it, including a local judge. When the cartel attacks, most of the town is willing and able to join the defense, and this includes the pastor, who is well-versed in the use of his AR-15. Sjostrom definitely has a flair for staging the brisk fight scenes: "… he sprung up to fire on the last visible guard only to see him knocked backward, a bullet shattering his skull." Action aficionados will enjoy the fast-paced conflict all the way to the satisfying conclusion.

Takeaway:: Fans of red-meat action will revel in the continuous stream of fight scenes.

Great for fans of: Stephen Hunter, Nick Petrie.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: C+
Marketing copy: A-

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9780985438999
  • 312 pages
  • $27.99
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781734937619
  • pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781734937602
  • 312 pages
  • $17.99

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