REVIEW OF ABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 8, 2015 Narrator: John Shea
I've never been a fan of the James Bond movies and have never read Clive Cussler butREVIEW OF ABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 8, 2015 Narrator: John Shea
I've never been a fan of the James Bond movies and have never read Clive Cussler but I was looking for another action-thriller series with a likeable, attractive hero and decided to give Ted Bell a try, even though the MC is a Brit (I don't like listening to a Brit accent book).
What a blast this book was. The only unfortunate thing about this audiobook is that it's abridged. There doesn't seem to be an unabridged version so I bought the e-book to check what I was missing. What was omitted was interesting enough that several times I paused the audio and read the ebook. But John Shea's narrating skills are superb and in the end, I put my Kindle away and just enjoyed Shea exclusively.
I did not have any of the complaints that the 1-star reviewers had about Hawke's character or about the plot. On the contrary, Lord Hawke is exactly what I was looking for and I found the plot different from my usual, current thriller fare. The Prologue takes us back to when Hawke was seven years old and witnesses the brutal murders of his parents on board their yacht, the Seahawke, on its maiden voyage in the Bahamas.
The young Hawke is so traumatized by this that he blocks it out but suffers recurring nightmares well into his adulthood. When the main story begins, Hawke is in his late thirties, has taken over the reins of the family business and enlarged its coffers. Somewhere, somehow (and I don't care) in-between running the giant conglomerate with worldwide diversified interests, Hawke runs covert missions for the UK and the US.
Book 1 takes Hawke back to the Bahamas on board the Blackhawke, whose stewards were recruited from the SAS, SBS (the UK equivalent of the US Navy SEALs) with my favorite being Stoke, who is American and ex-NYPD. Before that, Stokes was a member of SEAL Team Six. Yeah, I love the whole over-the-top thing. Absolutely love it:)
Hawke's assignment is to find out who has the Borzoi, a boomerang-shaped Russian-made stealth submarine carrying 40 warheads, and get it back. This leads him back to the Caribbean, and gives him his chance at vengeance for that childhood terror.
I've already started Book 2, Assassin, and enjoying the tidbits about Hawke.
The Narration: John Shea played a major part in my enjoyment of this book. He is so talented with accents and switches from one to another with ease, from Stoke's African-American to Madame Secretary of State back to Hawke's Queen's English. Oh, and I mustn't forget the Cubans. Shea does them all marvelously.
Don't go into the series expecting a 100% serious espionage thriller, in which case the 1-star reviews should be heeded. At the same time, the violence was more graphic than I was expecting so this isn't a mild thriller either. Thankfully, the crucifixion and gutting of Hawke's father took place off-page.
I haven't had this much fun with a thriller ever:)...more