When a sinister plot to start the next world war kicks off, it’s up to former Delta Force operator Jake Mahegan to save the day in the latest heart-thumping thriller from Anthony J. Tata.
After the events of Direct Fire (2017), Jake is vacationing on a North Carolina island with his girlfriend, Cassie Bagwell, when the crap first hits the fan. The two are laying low, enjoying some much needed and well earned R&R when they’re pulled back in and told of the mayhem erupting around the world. North Korea’s leader has been killed, the first of several steps that ultimately threatens to pull America into Europe, where Russia is assembling an impressive military presence. At the same time, North Korea responds by firing a nuke at Japan, and Iran begins invading Iraq.
And that is just the beginning. . .
Punching the clock and rolling up their sleeves, Jake and Cassie get to work and quickly uncover that a group of dark hackers are behind the chaos. Led by Ian Gorham, a powerful media mogul who’s hellbent on taking over the world, the group has managed to sidestep the United States cybersecurity measures and infiltrate their military computers, compromising American missile and defense systems.
Scrambling to prevent further destruction, Jake and his team discover that the only way to stop Gorham’s plan is to physically locate the group’s headquarters and manually shut things down–using a little firepower and any other means necessary. The only problem is that Gorham’s Computer Optimized Warfare headquarters are broken down into three separate facilities, each of which are situated in dangerous locations smack-dab in the middle of all the conflicts and bloodshed.
With time quickly running out before the next phase of destruction is set to begin, Jake and his team must attempt to do the impossible: split up, reach their targets at all costs, and shut things down before it’s too late.
Since he kicked off his Mahegan series in 2015, few writers have been hotter than Anthony Tata, who continues to get better with each book as he develops his characters and constantly raises the stakes for Jake and the rest of the cast. Last year’s Direct Fire took the franchise to another level, and Dark Winter shows another significant leap in Tata’s ability to ramp up the tension and hold readers on the edge of their seats.
While he’s known for his action sequences, which are still front and center here, Tata displays an impressive touch with how he handles Jake’s development and his ability to plot out his stories. Some readers may be surprised by the amount of time given to Jake and Cassie’s relationship, but it’s actually refreshing, allowing readers to cleanse their pallets in between explosions and gunfights. Few writers have his tactical experience, which bleeds through each and every page, and there’s nobody better at coming up with out-of-the-box threat scenarios than Tata, who avoids genre clichés and keeps things fresh in a time when everyone else seems to be offering up similar storylines.
Jake Mahegan has had his back up against the wall before, forced to lay it all on the line as he races to protect the country he loves, but he’s never faced a threat quite like this one . . . and this time, he might have finally bit off more than he can chew.
With Dark Winter, Anthony Tata serves up a smart, fast-paced, and riveting plot that’s as good as anything else the genre currently has to offer. If you still haven’t tried this series, don’t put it off another second.
Author: Anthony J. Tata
Series: Jake Mahegan #5
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
Release Date: October 30, 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.