Book Review – INDEPENDENCE DAY by Ben Coes – Political Suspense

Independence Day

Dewey Andreas, former Delta and newly recruited intelligence agent, is sidelined after screwing up his last two operations. Still drowning in grief after the tragic murder of his fiancé, Dewey has seemingly lost his focus, his edge, and the confidence of his superiors.

A high level Russian hacker, known only as Cloud, is believed to be routing large amounts of money to various Al Qaeda terror cells, and the mission is to capture and render harmless Cloud. At the same time, a back-up team is sent after the only known associate of Cloud, a ballerina believed to be his girlfriend. Unwilling to sit out the mission as ordered, Dewey defies his superiors, and goes rogue, surreptitiously following and tracking the two teams. What should be a pair of simple snatch and grab operations, goes horribly wrong–both teams are ambushed and wiped out. Only through the unexpected intervention of Dewey does the ballerina survive.

On the run, with no back-up, Cloud’s girlfriend reveals a shocking secret–a plot so audacious and deadly that their masterminds behind it would risk anything and kill anybody to prevent its exposure. It’s a plot that, in less than three days, will completely remake the world’s political landscape and put at risk every single person in the Western world. With only three days left, Dewey Andreas must unravel and stop this plot or see everything destroyed. A plot that goes live on July 4th–Independence Day.

Published: May 26, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK

 

My Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a powerful story about the hidden world of terrorism and government activities that we – mostly – never know about. The author clearly has a firm understanding of how government agencies operate. The hacking aspect of the plot is terrifying in its realism.

“You can kill me right now, we both know it,” said Cloud reassuringly. “This is not about being a man and who is tougher, Alexei. You are tougher. But where I am going, it requires something different. It requires hatred.”

The book starts out at a slower pace, gradually building until you can’t turn pages fast enough. Once all the pieces start fitting together, the possibilities and the action can truly leave you breathless.

A higher mission classification did not exist. It meant the achievement of the mission’s objective was paramount to U.S. national security.

So what kept this from being a 5 star read for me? At times, particularly throughout the first third of the book, it felt a little heavy on step-by-step narration. I felt like I was being led through dances steps, rather than being shown the dance. To be fair, this is a complicated plot requiring a lot of buildup and explanation.

A higher mission classification did not exist. It meant the achievement of the mission’s objective was paramount to U.S. national security.

The other problem came with character development. There are a whole lot of characters here, and consequently it’s difficult to get to know any of them. The main character got lost in the numbers. My favorite reads are character-driven fiction, and this is more plot-driven fiction, making this issue one of personal preference.

Overall, this is a thought-provoking read that might leave you wanting to run away to some far out, deserted spot in the world.

 

Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • RJ McDonnell

    I read two novels in the Dewey Andreas series earlier this year. Like you, I gave both a 4 star rating. Great actions and pacing. Series opener, Power Down, lost a star for mentioning Fox News so many times I thought they may have paid for commercial advertising. Eye for an Eye lost a star when Dewey flew into Lisbon’s airport with a gun in his possession, and no mention of how he got it through customs or airport security. I’m looking forward to reading Independence Day after seeing your review.

    • Yeah, the Fox News thing irritates me in general. 🙂

      I think this series, like many of its nature, requires readers to suspend belief at times. The situation you mentioned with getting the gun through security is one of those times. I find this is true of TV crime shows, as well. As writers, we probably pick up on those details more than average. I often find myself muttering at books and TV shows, because I just can’t make that leap without stumbling.