Alpha males anyone? If this question interests you in the slightest, then Anderson Harp’s Retribution is the novel for you. Protagonist Will Parker, a retired district attorney, takes the occasional deep undercover mission to relieve himself of his predictable life far in the woods and to fuel his adrenaline addiction. This particular secret operation finds Parker fighting for his life in the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
If a fan of visual imagery in writing, look no further:
A man from the village representing the elders went there the following morning and found the walls covered in sprays of blood- the floors as well. He stepped into a puddle of black, congealed blood, which stuck to his shoes like molasses. Flies swarmed around the room, occasionally landing on his cheek, even as he brushed them aside. The bodies had been pummeled by bricks found nearby, covered in the same sticky blood. (86-7)
Written in a third-person narrative, the political commentary sprinkled throughout is unwavering:
The Americans have a better chance of breathing life back into those two dead bodies, Yousef thought, than of changing these people [of Pakistan]. (87)
Tears welled in the corners of my eyes as the English teacher within embraced antagonist’s Robert Trantham’s approach of reading in reverse, “The old editorial trick caused one to see things in a different light. Misspelled words stood out if you read a paragraph backward” (384).
For the purposes of book club, one may serve “cold kupus and grah” (111) or Dom Perignon and chilled caviar as served in first class on Qatar Air. Personally, I would definitely avoid the chewing gum Parker favored, and instead, opt for the “tea and sweet biscuits” (44).