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American Operator: A Tier One Story (Tier One Thrillers) Paperback – November 6, 2018
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Second Home" by Christina Clancy
"A sure-footed ode to the strength of family, the depth of loss, and the power of forgiveness." - J. Ryan Stradal Learn more
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From the Author
In the first trilogy, we explored the Iranian threat as VEVAK spymaster Amir Modiri targeted America's elite Tier One unit, the office of the DNI, and risked World War III by attacking Israel.
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I am expecting to see some of the new characters again, looking forward to it, even some of the not so nice ones. Also I appreciate the authors adding a glossary of terms, it really helped.
Looking forward to many more books from these two authors.
The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey is killed by Kurdish Terrorists and his assistant, Amanda Allen, is kidnapped. Do they know who they have? She must be rescued ASAP. John Dempsey and his covert task force known as Ember are on a mission in the Adriatic Sea. There's Grimes, Munns, Latif, and Martin, all skilled warriors. They will be sent to find and rescue Amanda after their mission. As this is Book 4, there is a large backstory on Dempsey and team Ember, so you may want to read this series in order, although the authors try hard to present some background to the reader.
This story line provides lots of opportunity for discourse about "Fake News", and relationships among Turkey, Syria, Russia, and the United States. Very interesting and up-to-date. There is a glossary of acronyms used in the book at the end of story. This is a well-written, wild, action-filled, and thoroughly entertaining read!
I didn’t review the first three books, but in a nutshell: The main character, John Dempsey (formerly known as Jack Kemper), is an ex-SEAL who lost his entire team in an attack while deployed in the sandbox. In order to go after the people responsible for the attack, Kemper ‘dies’ and changes his identity to Dempsey, and becomes forever lost to his wife, his son, and all of the operators he has ever worked with. He becomes the founding member of an ultra secret, very small cell of highly skilled people who are known only to the president and one or two others. The group is called Ember and they are assigned missions against terrorists that cannot be performed by any other group. They operate autonomously, choosing targets whom they declare to be the greatest threats to America.
Throughout the first three books the team recruits members, loses members, and completes a variety of dangerous missions that are beyond the capabilities of other special forces groups. We watch as interpersonal relationships form, and we watch as various members mature and become even more skilled at their various callings. The growth of the team, both as individuals and as a cohesive, interdependent fighting unit, mirrors how such a group may evolve in real life, and it is gratifying to watch as the team expands and grows in capability.
Interestingly, the authors’ writing abilities seemed to grow along with the fictional team members. When starting the first book, I got the impression that it was written by amateurs. The writing was shaky and unsure at times, the actions of the characters seemed overwrought and unnatural, and it seemed as if the authors weren’t quite on the same page. (And if they had used the term “tier one” very many more times, I would have deleted the thing from my Kindle!) But by the end of the first book (called “Tier One”, naturally) they had their act together and the book turned out to be pretty good – enough to make me want to get the next one. Books two and three each improved on their predecessors, and by the end of book three I was disappointed when it looked as if there were to be no more books by these guys.
And then book four, “American Operator”, came along. This book is probably the best written of the batch so far. It doesn’t exactly pick up where the last book left off, because that story seemed finished. But it does continue with the same characters doing the same dangerous stuff. This book opens with the Ember team conducting a strike against a terrorist group. The bad guys are killed, the good guys are rescued, and all is well. During the mission, however, a person named Malik is revealed; this guy (or the idea of this guy…) is woven into the fabric of the rest of the story, and likely into book five.
Briefly: a young CIA agent is captured during a terrorist attack in Turkey. She is taken away, and Ember is tasked to find her. Dempsey is separated from his team as a result of a seemingly unrelated attack in the same country, and much of the book focuses on his efforts to rescue her. As the book progresses, the captured agent is confronted by Malik, and it is revealed that Malik is part of a plan that goes far, far beyond a simple kidnapping. By the end of the book, the agent is rescued, Dempsey confronts Malik, the president and associates get attacked, and the larger plan is revealed (to a degree). Ember gets new personnel, some soul searching is accomplished, somebody has an epiphany, and all is right again.
Except it isn’t. Unlike the first three books, each of which seemed to have a solid conclusion, this book is open ended. While the good guys make it back home, the events in which they participated are far from over. The ‘big plan’, perpetrated by the Russians, is still in play. The fallout from the attack on the president and its implications for Turkey and the United States are not discussed, leaving the door open for a follow-up. And a traitor is still undiscovered. All of these factors create great anticipation for the next book, which unfortunately is not due for a whole year (November 2019).
Naturally I have some rants, but they are few. While most of the book is written at a perfect pace that prevents boredom yet leaves room for character development and background information, the ending is a little bit “television”. The showdown between Dempsey and “Malik” lasts forever. Their battle goes way beyond what normal humans are capable of (think Jason Bourne on amphetamines) and their continued escapes wear a little on the otherwise credible action. And the “love-in” at the end is a little much. However, this is a good book, the best so far. I recommend you read them all, and most certainly read them in order. And maybe don’t start them until just before book five comes out so you don’t suffer any withdrawal symptoms.
I will confess my bias— I dislike writers who use decimation for destruction, or ones who have so little imagination they, for example, name the President of Turkey “Erodan” when the actual one is named Erdogan.
Top international reviews
June Finnigan - Writer
Can get a bit obvious at times, but that's an underlying issues with this type of book, certain things just aren't going to happen and certain things always will.
Characters are gettingore defined as the series progresses and the relationships between them more complex, relatively speaking. We aren't talking Tolstoy :).
Die Story klingt einfach, ist sie aber nicht. Das Ember Team und allen voran John Dempsey werden erwachsen. Sie werden nicht nur mit den Entführern konfrontiert, sondern auch mit der ganz speziellen undurchsichtigen Lage in Syria. Kurden, die Krieg mit der Türkei führen. Türken, die Krieg mit den Kurden führen, die Daesh supporten und mit Russia liebäugeln. Die Russen als eigentliche Drahtzieher der False Flag Ops, die die Nato destabilisieren und die Türkei zum Austritt bewegen wollen. Ein amerikanischer Präsident, der das nicht durchschaut und in die ultimative Falle läuft und ein "man not Malik", der im Auftrag des FSB die wet Jobs erledigt, ein russischer, noch unentdeckter Mole neben Kelso Jarvis, dem DNI ...
Die Geschichte ist äußerst real und spannend in die heutige Geo-Politik eingebettet, authentisch und brutal und zielführend. Ein Operator ohne Overwatch ist ein toter Operator.
Das Ende ist offen, das Chaos perfekt und lässt den Leser, also mich, mit einigen losen Enden zurück, die mit Sicherheit im fünften Band fest verknotet werden. Ich freue mich riesig darauf.
Ein tolles Buch, eine tolle Geschichte und ein Dempsey in Höchstform. Wobei es Sinn macht, die Bücher chronologisch zu lesen. Es lohnt sich auf jeden Fall.
Obviously written by authors who have “been there, done that” (within reason), it smacks of “truism”.
I had a lot of fun with it, and await the next episode with anticipation.
I recommend it.