#BookReview – FINAL TARGET: A Jonathan Grave Thriller by John Gilstrap

Freelance operative Jonathan Grave faces his fiercest challenge yet in bestselling author John Gilstrap’s explosive new thriller . . .

The mission: Drop into the Mexican jungle, infiltrate a drug cartel’s compound, and extract a kidnapped DEA agent. But when Jonathan Grave and his partner, Boxers, retrieve the hostage and return to the exfil point, all hell breaks loose. Ambushed, abandoned, and attacked on all sides, their only hope of survival lies inside a remote orphanage where innocent children have been targeted for death.

Even if Grave can lead his precious cargo to safety across a hundred miles of treacherous jungle filled with enemies, he can’t shake the feeling that something bigger is at play. A vast conspiracy of international power players who take no prisoners—and leave no survivors . . .

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA


My Review

One of the things I love about John Gilstrap’s writing is the realism. He clearly knows his stuff, and he sets it all up in a way that puts us in the midst of the action, so we feel it, hear it, and see it.

Jonathan Grave heard the sounds of ongoing torture a full minute before he arrived on the scene.

The plot here is straightforward. The suspense comes from the mishaps along the way, as the mission becomes more complicated than expected. We edge into conspiracy theory and political entanglement. A variety of narrators gives us breathing room away from the chaos, though I wasn’t as enthralled with some of those aspects. For instance, and I’ll be vague to avoid spoilers, I didn’t understand their push to get a particular person involved when he was really useless to them in the given role.

We don’t get a lot of character development with this story. That’s partly because this is the 9th book in the series, but mostly due to this book being plot-driven. We’re dropped in the midst of the action, and getting to know the characters is the side effect rather than the focus. Still, we’re given enough background on the main characters so that the book can be read as a stand-alone.

Jonathan found it a struggle to keep his head in the game as his mind raced to figure out what, exactly, was going on.

I have to mention the treatment of Mexico, which, as the setting, is a big part of the story. On several occasions, the two main characters talk about how much they despise the country, making these comments in a judgmental, scornful way, blaming the country as a whole for the situation they’re in. Yes, I know Mexico has a lot of problems. And, no, I’m not Mexican myself. But I was taken aback by the thinly disguised vitriol with these characters on this topic. Honestly, they came off as pompous, arrogant asses, which spoiled some of the appeal for me.

*I received an advance copy from the publisher, via Amazon Vine, in exchange for my honest review.*


Thanks for reading. 🙂