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Diamondhead by Patrick Robinson

2009           

Diamondhead seemed like a safe bet. I steeled myself for the usual ‘Former Navy SEAL…’ storyline of an indestructible badass getting it done with the near mystic skills learned in the Navy. What I got was an insult to my intelligence. The indestructible badass in question is Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie Bedford. After his SEAL team is ambushed and killed by an UN banned weapon, Diamondhead, Bedford kills the attackers. But all evidence makes it look like the counterattack was a vast breach in ROE and flat out murder. The Navy shows Bedford the door and he starts planning his revenge.

So far so good. But once we throw in that a French business leader with political ambitions is the creator of Diamondhead AND the small all-American town that Bedford lives is going to lose its major employer to this French businessman AND the head of the town’s major employer is actually hiring Bedford to assassinate the cowardly French…well, we have totally gone off the rails.

Author Patrick Robinson tries repeatedly to remind us that Bedford is a good man and breaking international laws and traveling thousands of miles to murder a man is really out of his wheelhouse.

But he does it anyway.

This flight of fancy of ‘sticking to the man’ and the bonus of said man being a (gasp!) foreigner is just way too much. Several times I wanted to stop reading but I just had to see how Bedford gets out of this. It’s a good thing he’s former Navy SEAL with near godlike reserves of strength and endurance. Whereas it took thousands of men to storm Normandy during World War II, old Bedford does it by his lonesome and practically swims the English Channel during his escape.

On top of all this, add the author’s lack of understanding and just plain knowledge of the military, let alone Navy SEALs and this book is damn near laughable. I understand that Mr. Robinson has continued this series and Bedford ultimately becomes the President. I’ll never know how that happens as Diamondhead killed any chance of my returning to the adventures of Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie Bedford.

1 out of 5

The Athena Project by Brad Thor

2010          

This is the first Brad Thor novel I've read. I was hoping, given the author's reputation, that this tired cliche' of 'the female version of...' would be present in at least an interesting way.

Boy was I wrong. I guess you could call this a summer read - which I take to mean, don't expect too much. The book is populated with the women of Athena who are all Delta operator. And of course, drop dead good looking. Despite all their various skills, it seemed the only thing they're good for is leading with their two *ahem* assets. Men slip in pools of their own drool.

There is some reflection by the MC on her life and relationship but that's not enough to save this adventure to stop a Nazi secret weapon (no, you read that right)from getting a well deserved 1 star.

1 out of 5