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The Valley of Shadows: A Derek Stillwater Thriller Kindle Edition
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The plot, well read the blurb. But Derek is a more human character in this, the fourth installment, than super hero, showing traits of say the great hardboiled detectives. A loner, a tough guy who is also fallible. Think James Bond meets Phillip Marlowe. The Pace: Relentless. Mark Terry, with a master story tellers hand, drops details by the dozen, personal and real, but never to the point of bogging the story down. How he manages to get so much detail into the story without slowing the pace is amazing. Think of the details as the paint job on a race car, it just makes it easier to "feel" for the players and tell them apart but it doesn't slow them in the least. Structure: Perfect. Mark's research must have been exhaustive. His knowledge of everything from technology to strategy and tactics of that Shadow World of the American alphabet soup; CIA, NSA, ODNI, FBI down to the traditional dress of Muslims, the gray area of arms dealers, international banking, and even traffic at different times of day on L.A. city streets and freeways is amazing when you think about it. The story follows logically a race against time and tries to solve a mystery - why, where and who will be the target. This man is a master story teller, and a first rate craftsman at getting it down. I'm going to be talking about, and thinking about this book for a long time, so get used to it. Go buy it and I may leave you alone. Or talk your ear off as we discuss it, because it is that kind of book.
I was captured by the plot of this book from the opening pages. Derek and a team of people that run the gamut from FBI to HLS. This team called START is trying to protect the United States from the terrorist attacks that are discovered when an apartment is taken down in Pakistan.The real clincher of the book for me is how real the plot it. The terrorist could actually do what is written without much trouble. We like to think we are protecting ourselves but we are we?
I will be reading more from Mark Terry, language and all.
Department of Homeland Security Special Terrorism Activity Response Team is assigned to find the terrorists, especially the cell leader art history Professor Miraj "Kalakar" Khan, and their WMDs. The mission is like finding a needle in a haystack, but also must be done in two days or else. The DSH Director adds his top field agent Derek Stillwater to the unit.
Besides the timeliness with the Bin Laden death, the fourth Derek Stillwater thriller (see The Fallen, The Devil's Pitchfork and The Serpent's Kiss) is an action-packed tale that has readers running alongside of Derek and his mates. The story line is fast-paced as the clock ticks away. Although with the exception of his on and off nuclear expert girlfriend Cassandra, the unit is somewhat shallow (then again this is Derek's story), fans of a thrill a paragraph will relish The Valley of Shadows.
There are no fantasy scenarios or super heroes so common in other anti terrorism novels. The characters are realistic and believable. All of the major players on both sides have their flaws and make serious mistakes.
A raid on an Al Queda safe house in Pakistan discovers a plan for a series of simultaneous suicide bombings in major cities throughout the US. Dr. Derek Stillwater, an agent with homeland security, joins one of several teams of anti-terrorist specialists across the US who are assigned to make urgent needle in a haystack searches to find the explosives and stop the terrorists.
The team that Stillwater joins is a dsyfunctional mix of agents, most of whom have never worked together before. Stillwater is not a good team player and a really loose cannon who likes to work on his own. His team participation is even harder because he once had a personal relationship with the female agent assigned to head the team.
Stillwater's team soon discover that they have more than one plot to stop because the terrorist leader has his own agenda which could have a more serious impact on the US than the planned bombings. The chase turns into a roller coaster ride of action on a par to some of the earlier Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy thrillers - so sit back and enjoy the ride.
My only criticism was the extra line breaks at the end of each paragraph which left large gaps between paragraphs on my Kindle which made it harder to read. A small amount of editing could remedy this.