Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Last Refuge, by Ben Coe


This is the first Ben Coe book that I have read.  There are two other books out in this series, “Power Down” and “Coup D ‘Etat.”  After reading The Last Refuge I can’t wait to get my hands on the other two books.

Ben’s writing is superb.  He writes on the same level as Tom Clancy or Joel Rosenberg.  His characters are crisp, well defined, easy to understand, yet difficult to understand, does that make sense?  They are easy to understand because Ben does a great job in describing them to us, but they are difficult to understand because they have a depth of character that you will have to sit and ponder a bit to fully understand who they are.  Even then you will be left thinking there is more yet deep within them that I have to get to know.

The plot of the book is real.  It is so real that it reminds me of Joel Rosenberg’s books that almost read as though they are taken from today’s headlines.

The main plot is held up by several underlying sub-plots and do not detract, but add to the over all suspense and thrill of the hunt.  There are times when I might have wanted a bit more action, but maybe I have just become an ‘action’ junkie that wants more.

Ben shows not just a good writing skill, but he shows a keen understanding of today’s politics, national security issues and the need for clandestine agencies to protect the interest of our country and that of our allies.

His characters will kindle in your heart the desire to be loyal to your friends.  Loyal to your country and loyal to those living in your country whom you might not even know.

Having worked with a local police agency and learning about camaraderie I found the characters in Ben’s work extremely likeable and real.  They care for each other and will go to any end to protect each other, even if that means holding back a bit of information.

After having barely survived his last assignment, Dewey Andreas wants to just have some time off and unwind.  He wants to regroup and just enjoy life a bit.

He gets a phone call from a friend, Kohl Meir, that he can’t ignore.  He has to respond.  You see, Kohl lead a group of Israeli commando’s who rescued Dewey from his last assignment.  Not only did they rescue him, but six out of the eight men gave their lives so that Dewey could live.

Before Dewey can meet up with Kohl the unthinkable happens.  Kohl Meir is abducted by the Iranian secret police off of a street in New York City and taken back to Iran to be put on trial for war crimes.  The certain outcome will be his death.

Dewey can not just sit back and wait for that to happen.  He must intervene.  But how?  Kohl is in the most secure prison in all of Iran.  There is no possibility of a rescue attempt being successful.  Oh, and to add to the tension, the CIA and the President forbid any action being taken to try and free Kohl from Iran.

On top of all this the Iranians have finished their first Nuclear Bomb and are planning on detonating it in Israel.

How does all this tie together?  Well, Dewey can’t leave Kohl where he is, he must act.  Iran can’t be allowed to explode a nuclear weapon, but supposedly no one is suppose to know that it exists.  Oh, and American and Israel can not step in to rescue Kohl without major political fallout.

So, Dewey will go ‘offline’ to do what has to be done.  His task, rescue Kohl.  But can he also stop a nuclear disaster in the process?

That’s the basis of the story.  Along the way the American President dies of a stroke and the Vice-President has to take over and gives the CIA and NSA direct orders not to interfere in Iran.

Dewey’s friends, The Director of the CIA and the National Security Advisor to the President have to decide what they will do to help, or will they help.

Ben Coe writes a gripping story that will hold you spellbound as you watch Dewey Andreas (just a normal everyday guy who happens to work as a CIA operative) do what a friend has to do to save his friends life, be loyal to his country, be loyal to his fellow Military brothers and yet go against every rule that he has sworn to live by and uphold.

Will he succeed?  Better question, Will you agree with how he attempts to succeed?  Would this be the type of person you want working for you and your country in a time of crisis?  How would you respond to the other characters in the book and their actions?

This is real life written as a novel.  It’s not my real life, but it is the real life of people who have vowed to protect and serve our country and me even though they don’t know me.

You are going to enjoy this book (oh yes, there is some violence and foul language) and it should cause you to stop and ask yourself how you feel about our Foreign policies and how far we let our government agencies intervene in other countries activities.


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