Jeffrey's Reviews > One Rough Man

One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
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Apr 23, 2011

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bookshelves: read-in-2011, thriller
Read from April 23 to 25, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Brad Taylor’s One Rough Man follows the well-trodden trail blazed by such thriller luminaries as Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Taylor has impressive bona fides serving his country for twenty-one years with distinction as both a soldier and as a commander of Special Forces and Delta. His debut novel shows an intimate knowledge of fighting and weapons.

After the violent death of his wife and young child, Pike Logan leaves the ultra secret Taskforce, a special black ops military force organized by the President to pursue and terminate terrorists. The Taskforce commander is Kurt Hale. Its missions, however, are overseen by an Oversight Counsel at the NSC, of which Harold Standish is a member. Standish views the Taskforce as a means to solidify his power base in Washington, and employs the services of some ex military killers to do so.

Meanwhile, in Guatemala, Professor Cahill, while searching for a lost temple, stumbles upon a deadly virus in the jungle. Unknown to him, Miguel, a drug kingpin, is at the same time negotiating a deal to smuggle Arab terrorists into the USA. When Miguel and the terrorists learn about the temple and the virus, both plan how get their hands on the map to the Temple. Miguel wants the temple so he can grab the ancient artifacts and takes the direct approach by kidnapping Cahill, but not before Cahill has emailed a pictograph of the temple coordinates to his niece in South Carolina.

In South Carolina, Logan is living on a boat, wallowing in self pity and blaming himself for his wife’s death. Typically he goes to bars and lets untrained schoolboys and other riff raff beat on his face as penance. After taking his nightly punishment from a group of frat boys, he is saved from further damage by Jennifer Cahill, who takes him home to his boat. Somehow she has been followed by Miguel’s men who want some package that the Professor said he sent to her. Logan intervenes and they end up joining forces. Before you know it, Logan and Jennifer are in Guatemala trying to trade the map coordinates to Miguel for the Professor.

Unfortunately the terrorists mug Logan and somehow steal the map coordinates from him. Logan only knows that the muggers were Arabs. The terrorists are able to locate the deadly virus in the jungle and escape to Europe. Just to be certain of the virus effects, they diabolically test the virus on a hapless bus full of innocents. Jennifer and Logan raid Miguel’s compound to rescue the Professor and Logan gets a chance to use his expert weapon skills to thwart Miguel’s plans. Jennifer discovers a room in the fortress containing Arab clothing and a couple of email addresses on a small piece of paper. Jennifer is suspicious that Arabs stole the coordinates and that Arabs were also at Miguel’s fortress and convinces Logan to check the email websites, which reveals that the terrorists have a deadly virus and plan to use it.

Standish also learns about the virus and decides that he can use a disaster like that to enhance his standing in the NSC. He acts to quash any mention of the bus attack in the intelligence community files and sends Lucas Kane, a nasty ex soldier in his employ to kill Logan and Jennifer. Kane will stop at nothing to get to Logan and Jennifer and does not care how many innocent school girls he has to torture or kill to succeed on his mission. So Logan and Jennifer have to try to stop the terrorists while evading the efforts of Standish’s trained killers.

The action moves from the jungles of Guatemala, to the shores of the USA, the power corridors of Washington, and to Europe, where innocent people at a peace conference could be the target of a deadly virus attack. Logan and Jennifer have convincing chemistry on the page, and Taylor allows Jennifer to also be helpful so its not all Logan. Plus she is able to use skills she learned as a performer for Cirque du Soleil to help Logan in the investigation.

The first person narrative, however, is a little confusing. In addition, Taylor jumps around from character to character in very short, often times little more than 3 or 4 page chapters. Finally the ending was a little poorly described.

If Taylor can fix up some of the foregoing issues, his next few books could be the real deal. It’s too early to say that Pike Logan is the next Scott Harvath (Brad Thor) or Mitch Rapp (Vince Flynn) but Taylor could be on his way. A similar review will be published in
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GymGuy Have to agree with this review. He's had a great military career, but he has a ways to go with is writing.

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