A rogue ex-US military general and his army of ex-Special Forces operators kidnap four dependent children, of four highly placed Army Generals in the USAEUCOM Command, in Germany. The lives of the four children hang in the balance as it forces the Generals to change and implement the Army’s first strike capabilities; a plan that calls for the nuclear bombing of the North Korean Capital. US Army CID Special Agent Jacqueline (Belle) Sinclair and Special Agent for the DIA Tom Price team up in their efforts to stop them before their plot succeeds.
Plot: Although Alvarez’s novel is well plotted with a unique premise, it loses steam in the final chapters and would benefit from restructure and revision. Genre fans will likely predict the novel’s inevitable ending.
Prose/Style: Alvarez’s prose is strong, clear, and direct. The author is particularly skilled at describing the intricacies of close quarters combat. Occasionally clunky dialogue hinders reader engagement.
Originality: Military thriller fans will enjoy this multi-tiered conspiracy novel. Alvarez skillfully builds this story around the international military community with great authenticity.
Character Development: The characters in Requiem for the Dead are numerous and diverse. Readers will want to root for protagonist Jacqueline Sinclair, a tough and intelligent CID officer. It’s refreshing to see a strong female lead in the military thriller genre. However, Alvarez strips Sinclair of her agency by having her lesser-trained male partner save her life multiple times, her father routinely guide her investigation, and by frequently referencing her physical appearance.
Date Submitted: May 28, 2020
With the agents racing to stop Scott and his fellow conspirators, Alvarez’s action scenes will get readers’ hearts pounding. The details of scenery (“the tall book cabinet stocked with military books on tactics and deployment of assets in the field of battle, and the Iraq War strategy in four different volumes”) and equipment (“among his weapons of choice was his Glock-26 subcompact with his unattached Osprey 40k suppressor, held in his shoulder rig holster”) sometimes slow the pace of the story, but the thriller plot will keep readers engaged as long as they share the author’s interest in weaponry. The romantic elements are less convincing but not prominent enough to be much of a distraction.
Alvarez, a former CID agent, develops Jacqueline and Tom’s story through the nuances of dealing with chain of command, working with officers from other countries, and using various investigative techniques. He’s particularly adept at describing what characters feel in battle and what it’s like to get shot and witness gory violence, though their rehabilitation from injuries is implausibly quick. A strong thriller plot and appealing characters will keep readers gripped to the rousing finale.
Takeaway: Fans of military thrillers and tough, smart heroines will enjoy this high-octane adventure.
Great for fans of Candace Irvin’s Aimpoint, Nelson DeMille’s Wild Fire.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A+
Character-driven, fast-paced action thriller, Requiem for the Dead by Victor M Alvarez is slick, compelling and gritty.
The driver behind every great book is a main character you can relate to and cheer for. Victor M Alvarez delivers on this with his gutsy, kick-ass protagonist Special Agent Jacqueline Belle Sinclair – or Belle, as her father calls her. Just about to go on a date with Captain Cory, Belle is intrigued when she is called to her father’s office. Her father, Colonel Richard Sinclair and area Provost Marshal have a mission for her.
Chief-of-staff, Brigadier General Chapman’s daughter Helen, has been kidnapped, her boyfriend shot dead and left with a note left in his car. Whether it is a criminal investigation or a terrorist plot has yet to be discovered.
Colonel Sinclair knows his daughter is the best person for the case, but wanting her protection (and maybe playing at match-maker) he assigns Agent Tom Price to partner her. What follows next is a series of life-threatening events that keep Agents Sinclair and Price from their mission of finding Helen, plus three other teenagers that also get snatched. With hardly any clues this race against time seems impossible, but as they get closer to discovering the reason behind the kidnappings the stakes get higher and the death toll begins to pile up. The antagonist is fueled by revenge and is ruthless, driving this well-written, nothing sugar-coated thriller forward, making it a real page-turner.
Victor M Alvarez’s twenty-one years spent in the military (where he became highly decorated) flows through onto these pages, giving the reader an experience that is both realistic and authentic. Requiem for the Dead by Victor M Alvarez is smart, compelling and believable. Fans of fast-paced military thrillers will not be disappointed. Requiem for the Dead comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews.
Book Marketing Specialist
When a suspected CIA operative is captured by the North Korean government, the man's father, an American General, repeatedly asks the White House to intervene. The White House does nothing, and the alleged spy endures daily torture for three years before dying in captivity. After his battered body is returned to Texas, General Scott vows that someone will pay for his son's death.
Scott isn't just any officer. He's a widely respected Brigadier General and combat veteran. After his retirement, several former special forces operators - each of whom owe their lives directly or indirectly to him - are enlisted to help him exact revenge.
Their plan? Kidnap the children of several high-ranking generals in the United States European Command. In doing so, they aim to force the Army's brain trust to implement a first-strike plan against North Korea without requiring permission of the President of the United States. If they succeed, and China suspects that the U.S. is behind the attack, they may be drawn in, sparking a global conflict.
Can World War III be averted? Enter Jacqueline Belle Sinclair, the top agent in the Army's Criminal Investigation Command. Sinclair comes from an exceptionally long line of military leaders tracing back to the 1300s, and she isn't about to let her father - a Colonel - down this time.
Author Victor M Alvarez writes like the veteran that he is, describing the inner workings of military life in vivid detail. Alvarez attended Ranger and Airborne schools, the US Army Jungle Warfare School en route to two ground combat tours during the Vietnam War, before becoming a US Army policeman and criminal investigator (CID Agent).
While Alvarez' prose may not have the polish of Mark Greaney or Brad Thor, the writing is authentic, and the emotional heft of a grieving father is undeniably raw. Most importantly, the stakes could not be higher. For readers that like revenge fantasies, we can't think of one more powerful than hijacking America's nuclear
Author Alvarez uses his knowledge and experience with US Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to craft this Criminal Thriller that will chill your very soul. The opening of this thriller recounts an event that ended the life of the son of a US General.
For three years General Scott seeks support from the White House to gain the release of his son. The North Koreans were trying to verify that Jason Randolph Scott was in reality a CIA operative instead of a US reportor through every means at their disposal. Jason finally secumbs to the beatings, torture, and horrific cruelty. His body is returned during an exchange with the US. The lack of support by the President to gain the release of the General’s son for the three years he was in captivity, results in the General devising a plan to extract revenge after his retirement using his former special forces operatives to launch a North Korean strike without standard permission.
In Germany, when Bill Ackers is discovered dead and his girlfriend, Helen Chapman, kidnapped at one scene, and then Dennis Jackson found dead at the kidnapping scene of Lisa Shaffer, the German police and US military want answers. The common thread between these four, and others discovered during the investigation, are their high-ranking military parents. Finding the reasons behind all the crimes was going to take some talented resources.
No Nonsense CID, Special Agent Jacqueline Sinclair, ‘Belle’ as called by her father, Colonel Sinclair the Provost Marshal (PM), comes from a family of military leaders going back to the 1300s. Her background and expertise make her the lead investigator with support from Agent Tom Price. Their partnership for solving this case is not one Belle would have selected if she had been given the choice. This is eloquently clarified early on when he comes to her office, even with the underlying attraction and fear of trust between them.
“…His mind wandered for a second as he spied food on her desk. His eyes shifted to the half-eaten quiche. “Are you going to eat the rest of that?” he asked.
“No, but I guess you can,” she said with a grin.
“You bet I would. Thanks, I haven’t eaten a bite in several hours.”
“So, help me out here,” she asked. “How long you’ve been with Military Intelligence?”
In between bites, he said, “I’m not with MI.”
She pondered this for only a moment. “Oh, so, who are you associated with?”
“The Defense Intelligence Agency?”
He nodded. “Guilty as charged.”
She paused and groaned. “Shit, a civilian?”
Agent Tom Price snapping the fingers of this left hand grinned and said, “Right again.”
She took this information with her usual equanimity…”
Together, each with their own reason, they are committed to uncovering the truth behind this evil terrorist plot before global war erupts. Your reading frenzy begins on page 1 and continues to the end. Don’t miss the chance to get this in March of 2020. Victor M Alvarez brings a similar passion to his thoroughly researched story as authors like Vince Flynn, Lee Child or Brad Thor bring to their readers.
Requiem for the Dead by Victor Alvarez is a thriller that begins with the kidnapping of the teenaged daughter of a high-ranking American military officer stationed in Germany. It takes us through a series of further kidnappings, the resulting investigation, and the discovery of a plot against North Korea that could result in World War Three.
This is an explosive novel featuring the characters of Special Agent Jacqueline Belle Sinclair of the Army’s CID division and her sidekick, Agent Tom Price, from military intelligence. They successfully lead the reader through a sequence of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat scenes that demonstrate the author’s own extensive experience in the military and CID. To soften the tone, he adds an underlying romance to the story.
For fans of the genre, Requiem for the Dead delivers all the necessary ingredients.
Sublime line: “A military thriller that takes the reader on an action-packed adventure through present-day Germany and North Korea.”