Bob Burke, retired from the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force, is now living near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His home is called “Sherwood Forest,” and the estate comes complete with its own band of “merry men” – computer geeks, retired Special Ops soldiers like himself, his pregnant wife Linda and her daughter Elle. He remains chairman of a telecommunications company in Chicago, but he has put good people in charge of running its day-to-day operations. Life should be relatively quiet and serene.
Except this is Bob Burke, and “quiet” and “serenity” are two words that don’t associate with him. At a small college in nearby Fayetteville, a sociology professor named Henry Shaw and just returned from a trip to the Middle East. What no one but the FBI suspects is that Shaw has set up an ISIS cell, with members from both students in the college and soldiers at Fort Bragg. Shaw has become a Muslim, and is going to bring jihad to Fort Bragg.
To say that Burke’s Revenge, William Brown’s third Bob Burke suspense/thriller novel, is packed with action is to be guilty of gross understatement. From desert towns in Syria to the sleepy environs of Fayetteville, Brown stages more car bombings, killings, and explosions than a half-dozen similar novels combined. And the action bleeds authenticity, with descriptions of guns, knives, airplanes, and explosives so vivid and real that you know this is an author who knows what he’s writing about.
Brown, the author of seven previous novels, has established himself as a master of military suspense, whether it’s World War II or the contemporary war against ISIS. He knows his military and how it operates, and he knows its politics, and how it operates. And he puts the knowledge of both to good use.
The more they understand, the more Burke and the people he’s working with realize that Shaw, and deadly as he is, may be just a side show. Three members of ISIS from the Middle East are also on the ground in the Fayetteville area, and what they are planning is worse than any car bomb or building explosion that Shaw dreams up. (I should point out that Shaw is a totally despicable villain, without any redeeming qualities, and it may cause me to look at sociology professors in an entirely different light.)
Burke’s Revenge snaps and crackles with action and excitement. It’s a wildly entertaining read.
Related - My reviews of Brown’s previous books:
Top photograph of Fort Bragg by Jonas N. Jordan, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Digital Visual Library via Wikimedia.