"The Sentry" by award-winning author Robert Crais (Putnam, $26.95) is the latest in his series featuring Joe Pike, ex-cop and former mercenary.
It starts innocently enough, when Pike steps in to break up the beating of Wilson Smith, a local sandwich shop owner, by a pair of young gang members.
Wilson's niece, Dru, joins them at the scene. She's worried about further retribution, but Pike assures her that there won't be any more problems. He's wrong.
Pike learns that federal agents have been watching the storefront, and the case becomes more complicated.
Crais has written a gut-wrenching tale of death and deception. It's full of fast-paced action, vivid characters and clever plot twists.
The first part of the novel introduces the assorted characters and their battles in the Afghan mountains. During one trip, they recover almost $5 million dollars in cash stashed by a crooked government contractor.
Plans are made to get the money back to the United States. But somebody's greedy and a scheme is uncovered to hijack the shipment.
This is a satisfactory but not spectacular crime novel that may be enjoyable for military fiction fans.
This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, February, 20 2011.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.