Crisis, published by Frank Gardner in 2016, is “Fast, taut, tense, accurate.  A terrific read”, according to Frederick Forsyth.  It’s pretty fast and tense and it is a good read, but I have some quibbles about the “accurate” part of the quote.  I take Forsyth’s word for it that all the secret service and weapons related aspects are accurate, but there were some questionable bits of plotting.

A British former special forces soldier, now an intelligence operative, is sent to Columbia to investigate the murder of a local British agent.  The dead man, in the course of gathering information about drug smuggling, apparently discovered something of major importance.

Protagonist Luke Carlton is satisfactorily brave and strong and the drug baron and his cohorts are suitably evil.  Luke has a girlfriend who works in an art gallery.  She is beautiful, loving, – and an expert in martial arts?  At the risk of spoiling a bit of the suspense for possible readers of this book, I have to say that she represents the weakest element of the plot.  First of all, she’s kidnapped by emissaries of the Colombian drug baron.  Surely, even the most diabolical South American drug smuggler doesn’t bother tracking down and kidnapping family connections of government agents in London.  Then this young woman, after being held just long enough to generate some suspense and coming to no harm, is suddenly untied by the sadistic woman who is guarding her.  There seems to be no rationale for this action, other than to provide the kidnapped girl with a chance to employ her martial arts training and escape.  Phooey.



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