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Deep within the Pentagon, a covert, multi-billion arms-for-influence program was created. The objective was to protect the United States and its allies from terrorist acts by secretly enabling a hand-picked man to emerge as the most powerful leader in the Middle East. But the charismatic Tristan Nazir double-crosses America, twisting the program for his own violent ends to create ISIS. Now America is at great risk.
Elite operative Dewey Andreas is sent to Syria to retrieve details about the source of ISIS’s funding but his cover is blown mid-operation and chaos erupts in the streets of Damascus. Trapped and outnumbered, Dewey manages to send proof of the awful truth―unknown at even the highest levels in the government―that ISIS’s munitions were indeed provided by America itself.
This information arrives in time to for the U.S. to cut off a final arms shipment before it reaches ISIS. But the vicious Nazir, is far from finished. He launches a bold strike into the heart of America, sending a terrorist cell to take over a dorm at Columbia University, capturing hundreds of college students as hostages. For every hour that the shipment of weapons is withheld, the terrorists will publicly execute one student. The potential loss of life is intolerable. A frontal assault is impossible. Releasing the shipment is unthinkable. There is nowhere to turn…
In a situation with no solutions, there remains only one option―Dewey Andreas.
Praise for the thrilling novels by Ben Coes:
“Ben Coes has created a hero who ranks with the protagonists in a Vince Flynn or Brad Thor thriller… The Last Refuge is a winner and will keep readers turning the pages.” ―Associated Press
“Terrific! A gripping story, compelling characters, a relentless pace, and nerve-wracking suspense.” ―Vince Flynn on Power Down
“Compelling characters, a wealth of technical detail, and ticking-clock suspense make [Independence Day] one of the year’s best thrillers.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“High concept meets high octane…Envision Clancy, Forsyth, and le Carre all writing in their prime…then kick in the booster…Coes blows the competition away.” ―Brad Thor on Coup d’Etat
“Coes is in the same league as Brad Thor and Vince Flynn, and this high-octane race against time will have plot-driven thriller readers unable to turn the pages fast enough.” ―Booklist (starred review) on Independence Day
“Action, international intrigue, romance―it doesn’t get any better.” ―San Jose Mercury News on The Last Refuge--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top reviews from the United States
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I read this in a day...in the day before the horrific terror in Nice, France (July 14, 2016). I believe Coes and Gorka portray the big picture which includes the bloodiest of mayhem in the name of evil...evil who want a caliphate, a place, and total control of believers only.
The ending of First Strike surprised me. I needed to return to the first 10 percent of the kindle version to recall how Dewey and Daisy entered the story line as friends. In a way, the domestic simplicity of family and friends offered a balance to the horrible violence of the IS evil.
Also surprising was Dewey's survival, given his multiple injuries in multiple time zones. To fight the jihad evil, good guys will get hurt or die.
When one is reading one of the Dewey Andreas series the reader must always remember that Dewey is for all intents and purposes indestructible. He can be shot, stabbed, and thrown from tall buildings, and he will get up and still perform at the highest levels possible for a human. Just accept that, put your brain on hold in that regard, and you will find the books enjoyable.
In this case Dewey takes on ISIS - so, there is plenty of Middle East action, as well as action that ends up in New York City.
As in prior books in this series, the author has Arab terrorists using UZI sub-machine guns. They would never use the UZI, an Israeli weapon. Also, as in prior books, the author needs to learn that a hijab is only worn by women, and that Dewey would not be wearing one as he ran from the firefight. The author does not know weapons, but, in this book he has avoided many of the errors he had in prior books in the series - however, at one point he has Dewey move the fire selector on his weapon to "auto-hail". There is no such setting on any full auto firearm. It may not sound as dramatic, but the normal settings would be "semi", "burst" and "full".
As to grammar, page 90 the author ends a sentence with a preposition, and on page 341, he again shows that he does not understand the difference between the words "bring" and "take" - he seems to most always use the word "bring" when he should be using "take". In another case, page 380, he has Dewey say "What do you got?" - Just bad grammar.
To me these things are annoying as I read, as I am sure they are to other readers. But, not enough to take away from the overall enjoyment of the book.
Dewey's tradecraft gets a full work out this time out. The action scenes are frequent and well detailed. In addition, Dewey offers several creative responses to extracting himself from tough situations. At the same time, there is also plenty of involvement by supporting players to avoid the one man show syndrome so common with many pseudo-thrillers. Finally, Coes continues to provide Dewey with fresh scenarios that avoid staleness and repetition.
The second half of the book focuses on hostage rescue with Dewey leading the effort. There are several other surprises which I won't divulge, but they add to the already intense action.
I have read read all of Mr. COES books and this was by far the best. Too bad it takes him a year to write. Great book! Couldn't put it down. Enjoy.
Top reviews from other countries
When deputy of defence Mark Radiz started a multimillion dollar arms for influence programme, to get American forces out of the middle east once and for all, he had little idea that the charismatic and brutal leader Tristan Nazir would double cross Radiz and Washington to use the weapons to create ISIS and grab large chunks of Syria and Iraq.
When the Milan station chief Mallory gets a phone call from someone in Nazir’s inner circle claiming to have explosive evidence about the origins of ISIS, Dewey Andreas is despatched to help Mallory retrieve the information from a café in Damascus Syria. After ISIS terrorists kill both Mallory and the source he was meeting, Dewey escapes long enough to send via mobile phone the proof that ISIS’s original munitions were provided by a black ops programme run by a person deep within the pentagon.
With ISIS running low on munitions as they scorch earth across Iraq and Syria, Tristan Nazir needing one more shipment of arms has, one major last card to play kidnapping Radiz’s ex wife and daughter to create enough leverage for Radiz to send another shipment of arms to Syria.
When CIA director Hector Calibrisi, finds Radiz who was trying to flee from Mexico City, and under interrogation gives up the fact another shipment of munitions is on its way to ISIS, he unravels the programme just in time for Navy Seals to stop the shipment in the Mediterranean before it reaches its destination. Nazir phones President Dellenbaugh to threaten that if the shipment isn’t allowed to continue to Syria something will happen to make him change his mind.
Nazir sends ISIS operatives to takeover a student dormitory at Columbia university capturing almost 500 students and parents as hostages, unknown to him CIA director Hector Calibrisi’s daughter Daisy is one of them, pushing a hostage out of a window for every hour the ship is delayed in reaching its destination. An assault on the dorm would result in an unknown number of dead hostages, but allowing the shipment to proceed will give Nazir and his ISIS thugs enough munitions to capture Iraq and Syria their resources, creating a terrorist nation and strengthening the caliphate.
With the dormitory wired with enough improvised IED’s to level it, President Dellenbaugh in a situation with no easy solutions turns to Dewey Andreas to kill the terrorists, free the hostages so that Navy Seals can go after Tristan Nazir when the ship docks in Syria.