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Search Results for your search with keyword "Falconer"
Duncan Falconer
The Hostage
480 pages
The Hostage is Duncan Falconer's first novel and it shows... The hero of "The Hostage" is Stratton, a member of the British SBS.

Stratton, whose first name is not mentioned in this book, an indicator as to what kind of book this is, is the toughest of the tough guys, but still comes across as a real person. He's very focused and experienced and doesn't hold back from having to kill when killing is necessary.

In fact, the subject of Special Forces soldiers having to kill when necessary is one that is explored several times in the book. The message here is that, unlike ordinary soldiers, Special Forces soldiers need to feel a desire to get a hit on their experience sheet in order to be a success.

So does this imply that Special Forces soldiers are psychopaths? Or just very motivated to do a good job and become a success? Or perhaps a bit of both, along with a craving for excitement?

As mentioned above, the story in The Hostage is very, very exciting. In fact, this is one of the most exciting books I've read in a long time, and I'm a fan of military thrillers. Duncan Falconer is very good at creating suspense and building up to a climax, with lots of action along the way.

The bad guys are various members of the Real IRA of Northern Ireland. First they try to kidnap a member of the detachment that Stratton is working with in Northern Ireland, and come very close to succeeding. Then, in Paris, they do succeed in kidnapping an American sailor, a U.S. Navy SEAL working together with the SBS as part of an exchange program.

Finding and freeing the American sailor is a top priority for Stratton and his team until the Real IRA spring an even nastier surprise on the British government: They are in possession of a biological weapon that can kill millions of people and they intend to unleash it in London!

Duncan Falconer's own experiences as a former member of the SBS provides credibility to the descriptions of the action. The characters in The Hostage are reasonably well developed and well presented, and even the bad guys are shown to have understandable motives. For example, there is a love story between one of the bad guys and one of the women working with Stratton, and we understand the bad guy's feelings and the tragedy for both of them when their relationship comes to an end.

The realism of the plot is were the problem lies. For example, the biological weapon is so potent that it would presumably wipe out the entire civilized world if unleashed. It would certainly spread from London to Ireland, and that makes it crazy for the Real IRA to consider using such a weapon.

And why did the Real IRA decide to use the American SEAL's wife as a courier for the package? And why did Stratton make a two-hour drive to London when he could have gotten himself transported by a helicopter? And why didn't Stratton shoot the bad guy just before the final showdown?

Also, the whole thing becomes a little, dare I say, tedious. Everything comes down to the same couple of people, and it seems that the RIRA, SEALs and SBS don't have any other personel..

Below par, must try harder

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Duncan Falconer
The Hijack
360 pages
Palestinian freedom fighter Abed Abu Omar and 20 men are preparing for their most daring mission yet: the hijack of a five-story supertanker laden with oil. Meanwhile, SBS operative Stratton has been assigned to bodyguard work and is bored by the lack of challenge.

When Omar’s plot is revealed, Stratton is quickly whisked away by helicopter to assist in a daring rescue. It then turns out the the brother of a ex Spetnaz was on board, and he wasn't happy that his brother got killed

It's a race accross Europe to stop him for Stratton..

Not only is the plot totally over-the-top, but there's so many "happens to" coincidences that it's ridiculous. It's just a by the numbers book, checking of the boxes as we go along.

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Running Apache