Top critical review
Decent story that ultimately didn't hold together for me
Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2020
This is an origin story published after the main character, Jason Trapp, was introduced so it isn't a surprise that he isn't the experienced operator he will become nor is it a mystery where he will end up. Nevertheless, I felt like some events were left hanging or were unsupported, the ending in particular. I didn't know I had reached the end of the story until I turned the page and the next chapter was the Epilogue. Sure the bad guys had been handled, but our heroes weren't out of the situation yet. Fan-wanking past that, I found the wrap-up being directed by a senior Special Forces commander gaming the system and cutting corners just like bad guys would. I felt he used extortion to induce Trapp into the choice he made for his future. The commander may have good intentions, but ... slippery slope and all that. The whole thing winds up with a cliché of honorable sacrifice. And I don't mean the Harley. Which last we knew was sitting by the side of the road undamaged.
I had difficulty getting into the story because of an obvious, to me, lack of research issue early on. I need to trust that an author is reasonably accurate when relating details and Slater lost me on that early. He made a point of having one character remind himself that a woman was crocheting, not knitting, and then goes on to describe the clacking of the needles. Crochet is silent. There is only one needle (called a crochet hook) and it has nothing to clack against but yarn. It isn't a huge error, but it opened the door to skepticism about the rest. And then nearer the end, there was a big scene set in Beverly Hills that was Way Off. I have a huge advantage here since I worked in an office on that stretch of little Santa Monica Blvd for 5 years (and parked at the Peninsula), but I'm sure I'm not the only one who knows: the difference between Santa Monica Blvd which has no businesses on it through Beverly Hills, and South Santa Monica Blvd (aka little Santa Monica) which does; that Beverly Hills is an incorporated city with its own police force so LAPD doesn't normally cruise there; the intersection of Wilshire & Santa Monica is west of the Beverly Wilshire hotel; and the Peninsula hotel is big on privacy so it is surrounded by a wall and has no ground floor windows to peer into.