Featured Review: ‘The Terminal List’ by Jack Carr

Terminal ListA potential new star of the genre emerges in Jack Carr’s debut thriller, which introduces a lethal protagonist in the same vein as other iconic literary heroes such as Mitch Rapp and Scot Harvath. 

While carrying out a high-stakes mission near the Khost Province in Afghanistan, Navy SEAL Commander James Reece and his men inadvertently walk straight into an ambush, and only Reece survives. 

Following the carnage, Reece reflects on the orders that came down the pipe, forcing him and his men into a situation they had little time to prepare for. Noting that he never felt right about the mission from the very beginning, Reece starts asking questions upon returning to Bagram Air Base. Though his initial efforts are stonewalled, Reece–whose never-quit attitude helped shape him into one of the top operators in America’s arsenal of super soldiers–doesn’t give up. Continuing to probe for answers, Reece is given some disturbing personal news that, astonishingly, he then discovers is something the other men on his SEAL team all had in common.  

Sent home to Coronado, California, Reece plans to race off to see his wife, Lauren, and their young daughter, Lucy. Instead, he’s delayed and forced to answer additional questions and see a military doctor before he’s allowed to take off. By the time he finally pulls his Toyota Land Cruiser into his driveway, Reece is horrified to find his house crawling with police officers. Inside, his family lays slain in their living room, their bodies riddled with bullet holes. 

It doesn’t take long for Reece to realize that his getting closer to the truth about what happened to him and his men in Afghanistan caused the deaths of his loved ones. The enemy, by taking away everyone he loved, sent Reece a painful message. At the same time, they just took away the only thing keeping his anger and brutality in check…a move they’ll soon regret.

With nothing left to live for, James Reece chases the conspiracy unfolding before him, which reaches all the way to the very top of the United States government. Carefully crafting a list of everyone involved, Reece then sets out to do the one thing he’s exceptionally good at…kill everyone who played even a minor role in the deaths of his men and his family. 

The government spent a lot of time and money turning Reece into a killing machine for his country. Now he’s coming after them. 

There have been some really promising new heroes introduced to readers over the past several years, but few have the potential moving forward that Carr’s protagonist radiates from the onset of this exceptional story. On top of the daring, well-written plot, Carr packs in a ton of tradecraft to go hand-in-hand with his above-average character development. Readers will enjoy learning a few tricks of the trade, and the action–though one scene in particular is especially gruesome–is on point. 

Jack Carr proves to be a formidable new voice in the political thriller genre, making a bold statement with his lightning-quick debut novel. The Terminal List is a can’t-miss, must-read, relentless action thriller that reads like a cross between Vince Flynn’s Term Limits and Mark Greaney’s Back Blast

Book Details

Author: Jack Carr
Series: James Reece #1
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501180819
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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