A Book Spy Review: ‘Buried in Black’ by J.T. Patten


Buried in blackAfter signing a deal with Kensington, well-known self-published author J.T. Patten kicks off an all-new series taking readers deep inside the world of clandestine operations. 

Continuing on the success of his Safe Havens franchise, Sean Havens, a former operator (and Patten’s old protagonist) is now in a John Clark-like mentorship role to a new prized recruit, Drake Woolf, a man with both the physical skills and the personal motivation to hunt and kill terrorists at a breathtaking clip. 

Known as The Man From Orange, Woolf is a highly-trained, well-rounded asset working for Task Force Orange, a newly-formed government agency tasked with handling the most sensitive and dangerous missions, which also require discretion. When the government needs something handled quickly, effectively, off-the-books, and far away from the endless cycle of 24-hour cable news coverage, it’s Task Force Orange’s job to come through, and more often than not, Woolf is the one answering the call. 

This time out, Drake is tasked with tracking, finding, and killing a group of Iraqi rebels known as the “Mohawks,” who’ve used their extensive training and resources to plan a large-scale attack on American soil. Complicating matters, though, is that the Mohawks’ extensive training and resources came at the hands of the United States, who trained them in Iraq to act as surrogate soldiers, fighting to protect themselves, their way of life, and American interests in the region. However, after the United States pulled out of Iraq, things went sideways, and now the Mowhawks–whom Woolf personally trained–have flipped sides and are close to striking a blow to the heart of America. 

With the clock ticking, it’s up to Drake Woolf to find and terminate the killers he helped create before it’s too late. . . making this the most personal and critical mission of his career. 

Think The Hunted meets Brad Taylor’s Ghosts of War, and you’ve got Patten’s lightning-quick new thriller, which hits fast and never lets up. When it comes to dragging readers helplessly into the world of black ops, nobody does a better job than J.T. Patten, who puts his vast knowledge of the area and region Woolf operates in on full display. Trust me, you won’t find a more in-depth analysis than the one Patten provides, which adds realism and authenticity to every page.

As for Woolf, he’s a phenomenal new character who can throw down with anyone, but also has the brains to go with the brawn. His backstory is emotional and goes a long way towards explaining why he’s committed himself to Task Force Orange and their mission, but it also makes him relatable and flawed, allowing readers to connect with him. Havens, as mentioned above, is now in a leadership role, but make no mistake, this series stands on its own, separate from Patten’s previous two books. That said, his involvement does provide longtime fans of Patten’s work with a familiar face, and it’s fun to see the battle-tested warrior pass on his knowledge to the next generation of shadow masters.

Complex, well-thought-out, and perfectly executed, J.T. Patten kicks off his new series with a thundering bang. . . Buried in Black has all the makings of a sleeper hit in 2018. 

Book Details

Author: J.T. Patten
Series: Drake Woolf #1
Pages: 378 (e-Book)
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Release Date: November 20th, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10




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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