I’ve been putting off this review for a while now. I even got a few reminders from Smashwords about it. I couldn’t help it…it took a while for this book to sink in. I did my best to read it as quickly as possible. It was, quite simply, that good. My OCD kicked in a few times as there were little things that caught my attention. I could be off, but there were some discrepancies or elements of “polish” missing from the book. For example, some proofreading errors may have slipped through, as at least one character seemed to have two different spellings for his first name in at least three different sections of the book. Anything major? Nope. Was this a first class read? Absolutely.
On to the meat and ‘taters of this review. Marcus Wynne knows his stuff. Everyone says so, and for those in the know…it shows again and again. Much like another literary masterpiece of warfare and deception mentioned in this book, “With A Vengeance” has an obvious surface worth upon reading it, however, for anyone really willing to take the time to think about it, there is much more to be had from this book. There is some real depth to the material and thought Wynne used to craft it. Simply by way of the subject matter it covers, and the ideas used to convey it, I believe it had to. I swear there is a “behind the scenes” treatise on fourth generation warfare hiding in there somewhere.
But don’t worry about simply being entertained, if all that thinking isn’t exactly your cup of tea. All the elements of a great operational fiction are present too. The first hand account of tools, tactics and tradecraft…the important support staff/background players, the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) interplay and interconnectivity of the strategic, political, tactical, military and social world we currently occupy…all there. Most importantly, the genuine mindset of many real world operators utilized as a set piece for the crux of the story…it has that too. Some real world folks and operational niche “celebrities” even make appearances in this book adding support to the factual elements with regards to the training, weapons and techniques discussed throughout. Personally, I thought that this also added an element of fun to the story. I also really appreciated that he managed to wrangle some key ideas of the Jedi Project, and some great bits of neurolinguistic programming into the mix, just for good measure.
Ultimately, I felt that this rivaled some of Wynne’s other works, rising to the level of “No Other Option” (a personal yardstick I use for judging other novels in my library). I think that not only did he weave a great story, but he may have also given us a hint of the type of threats we may face in a very real future. Good news is I know that there are people like Hunter James out there to face them for us! Finally, to Mr. Wynne…thanks for the fantastic book!!
Great book. Like every other book he has written, Marcus Wynne knows his stuff. Everyone says so, and for those in the know…it shows. In retrospect this book felt like a "neo noir" detective story, which was really enjoyable.
For fans of his work this novel took a new twist, which honestly, took me by surprise. In a good way. It doesn't hold onto his "standard" story format. Instead the narrative maintains a linear run, while a jump in perspective provides the viewpoint or distilled thoughts of other disembodied characters in a way I’ve only seen a few times before. This added an effectively frenetic feel to the story, which actually served to enhance the mood and tone of the writing. It was good to see Nina again too.
These aren’t your “sanctioned” operatives, clean cut, by-the-book former agents, cops or operators. Nope, these are the “on the fringe” folks. This novel plays by its own rules. Down and dirty, high speed, low drag hustlin’ is where it’s at…and this book has it in spades.