PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 1, 2009
ertain Jeopardyby Captain Jeff Struecker with Alton Gansky is a fast-paced novel that details a U.S. Army mission in Venezuela. Six military men are summoned away from their personal lives to save the life of a coveted nuclear scientist who has been abducted by some very bad guys. With only one Christian man in the bunch, morals are questioned as motives become clearer. To save the lives of many, they may have to sacrifice the life of one.
To say that this book goes by quick is like saying that cars are fast or that snow is white. The chapters are divided into several smaller sections to give the feel of a brief read, while really the page count is just shy of four hundred. A good marriage of character development and plot, you actually begin to care about the survival of the mission, despite how little military novels may appeal to the reader. While the main story is the mission, the other stories of the lives of the families that the men leave behind to do their dangerous work are just as interesting. The details of their struggles with the absence of the six men is highlighted in sincere ways that pull the reader in just before the page flips to push them back into the perilous mission.
The authors did a great job of explaining the equipment and tactical talk without overdoing it. They did not dumb down the military lingo to lay it all out for the kindergarten grade level – a mistake many action books make. Instead they offered brief, one sentence descriptions whenever necessary or the weapon would just be demonstrated to give the reader a feel for the scope of what was going on. While my knowledge of such things probably is closer in all actuality to a kindergartener’s understanding, I appreciated not being talked down to. Though I still do not really understand helo, an MI-17 or the exact measurement of a “click”, now I feel I could fake a conversation about their various uses and lengths with the best of them.
Jeff Struecker knows what he’s talking about when it comes to military jargon. He is a decorated member of the Army and part of the inspiration for the book and movie Black Hawk Down. His novel reflected his knowledge and no-nonsense attitude with which the various difficult choices were faced. Though I am not a huge military novel fan, I’ll be reading whatever else he decides to put on the shelves in the future.