Rogue Strike

Mysterious Book Report No. 382

by John Dwaine McKenna

There are moments that come along so infrequently, when all the elements line up for someone in such a way that they’re considered fortuitous . . . lucky beyond belief . . . because somehow, that person has managed to get the right pieces in the right places at just the right time to command success.  Such is the case for this week’s Mysterious Book Report number 382.

Rogue Strike, (Berkley, $27.00, 399 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-58576-0) by David Ricciardi, begins in the bombed out town of Zanzibar in southern Yemen, where a pair of deep undercover CIA operatives—acting on a tip—have eyes on a notorious, most wanted terrorist named Mullah Muktar . . . the object of twenty years of intense searching because he was one of the masterminds behind the September 11th attacks.  Serial character Jake Keller, along with his partner and mentor, a legendary CIA ops man named Curt Roach, have a pair of UCAVs, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, circling overhead at 18,000 feet, waiting to drop their precision-guided Hellfire missiles down the Mullah’s throat.  They’re cleared to go hot via SATCOM link, but the bat-winged stealth drone, code-named Drifter-72 does not respond to their commands.  Instead, it turns around and disappears over the horizon to the north . . . where it drops both missiles onto the crowd of pilgrims at Mecca . . . the holiest site in Islam, where millions are completing an ordained religious duty called The Hajj.  The entire event, including a hazy picture of what looks like a B-2 Stealth bomber seen turning away after the strike, is caught on TV, and POW!  Just like that, the world turns against America and a billion and a half Moslems want to destroy it.  SATCOMS down, Jake and Curt are marooned in a hostile, lawless land surrounded by armed-to-the-teeth Jihadists who want to kill them.

And that, my friends, is but the first twenty-five pages or so in this hot-off-the-presses thriller that’s one of this summer’s best.  It’s a pulse pounder ripped from the headlines, and one you won’t soon forget!

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