A Book Spy Review: ‘Scorpion Strike’ by John Gilstrap


Scorpion Strike Hardcover.jpgJonathan Grave is back for more action in John Gilstrap’s explosive new thriller, Scorpion Strike

Following the events of Final Target (2017), Jonathan Grave, codenamed Scorpion, takes some time off to slip away with Gail Bonneville for some much-needed R&R. Together, the operators, who’ve recently become a couple, head to the Crystal Sands Resort where they’ve rented out a private, secluded bungalow. Sadly, their vacation is suddenly interrupted when Grave hears automatic gunfire in the middle of the night. 

Realizing the bursts of gunfire are getting closer to them, Grave is forced to slip out of bed and fumble in the darkness for his clothes. In the distance, more shots ring out as other guests from the high-end resort are rounded up and taken hostage. When the two gunmen finally enter Grave and Bonneville’s bungalow, Jonathan is able to dispatch both shooters with nothing more than a tactical knife. With little time to act, though, the duo — who is joined by another couple they rescued — is forced to flee into the jungle in order to put distance between themselves and the attackers. 

Armed with only the things they were able to steal from the downed gunmen, Grave and Bonneville lead the strangers into the dense jungle, where they run into Tyler Stratton, a spoiled rich kid whose stepfather owns the resort. Tyler claims the island has been overrun by terrorists, prompting Grave to call Venice Alexander, his eye-in-the-sky back at Security Solutions. After reading Venice into the situation, she gets to work coordinating things on her end back at HQ. The already bad situation is made worse when Venice informs Grave that Boxers, his best friend and partner-in-crime, is at best hours away from being able to meet up with Scorpion at his current location. 

Determined to save the hostages and take the resort back from the terrorists occupying it, Grave must find a way to use what weapons he does have to keep his three tagalongs safe while doing recon on the situation. Boxers, meanwhile, is busy putting a team together (which involves a carryover from Final Target) to go help Scorpion, even if it means disobeying orders. The story takes a major turn when Grave finally discovers what, exactly, the terrorists’ intentions are. . . raising the stakes considerably for the battle-tested operator and his team.

One wrong move could have major global ramifications, making Jonathan Grave’s latest operation the most dangerous of his brilliant career. 

John Gilstrap is just terrific. Grave is well-developed and one of the thriller genre’s most underrated protagonists, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better sidekick than Boxers. Though it’s strange to see Big Guy away from Scorpion, that’s what makes the bulk of this book so fun, watching Grave have to navigate without his trusty battle buddy. And while he was never a boy scout, Jonathan is especially lethal in this book, which, by the way, opens with a really awesome action scene that showcases Scorpion’s knife skills. Gilstrap never takes his foot off the gas pedal from there, slowly ramping up the suspense as Grave goes to work on the bad guys. . .  and a few well-plotted twists and reveals really make this thriller hard to put down. 

Grave, Boxers, and the rest of the gang are all back in Scorpion Strike, another action-packed thriller from John Gilstrap that’ll have readers on the edges of their seats. 

Book Details

Author: John Gilstrap
Series: Jonathan Grave #10
Pages: 512 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1496718151
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10



Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) 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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