||Jan 7, 2012
His best friend’s daughter, Sophia, has been abducted. Not an ordinary kidnap for ransom. But then, Lee McCloud is not an ordinary man. The hunt for Sophia leads to discovery of a conspiracy that will have devastating consequences.
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His best friend’s daughter, Sophia, has been abducted. Not an ordinary kidnap for ransom. But then, Lee McCloud is not an ordinary man.
Having witnessed his sister kidnapped when he was fourteen, this is the Special Ops soldier's opportunity to deliver some badly needed justice. But things don’t go as planned.
McCloud finds himself forced out of the Army and teamed-up with Tally, a computer specialist in a secret organization that targets the mega-rich sponsors of terror.
Soon they find themselves on a collision course with Sheik Khalid, an exiled Saudi who kidnaps healthy teenagers to use as live organ donors. With time running out for Sophia, and their haunted pasts catching up, McCloud and Tally begin to realize where the evidence is pointing, only to find they’re being sacrificed in an even bigger conspiracy.
Lee McCloud ached to kill the five men in the valley below. But he couldn’t. Not yet. He ignored the sharp piece of rubble under his ribs and eased the sniper rifle into the familiar position, butt firmly against his shoulder, hand cupping the grip, finger resting on the trigger guard. Like spooning with a woman, Mac reflected, though he hadn’t done that in a while.
He watched the Ford Explorer, with Bob at the wheel, racing towards the meeting point up through the barren hills surrounding the El Carrizo dam. He switched his view back to the five men standing around a van and a Land Cruiser. Checking the laser range finder, he adjusted the Hensoldt scope. Six hundred yards. As close as he and his men would dare go. They couldn’t risk stirring the loose rubble to get closer. As it was, they’d only just made it into position before the Mexicans showed.
He wouldn’t admit it in a psych evaluation, but he enjoyed the feeling of having an enemy in the crosshairs. For a few seconds he had God-like control. All he had to do was squeeze. But right now they needed confirmation that Sophia and Danni were in the van before he could give the order.
The exchange was taking place a few miles outside Tijuana. Desert country, scarred with boulders and littered with caves and patchy grass that reminded him of an area northeast of Kandahar, where four years ago his unit had freed a six-person UNAMA team held by Taliban insurgents. But not before they had raped the two women and castrated the team leader.
A gust of wind blew grit in his weathered face. Swallowing several times to suppress the urge to cough, Mac put a small pebble in his mouth, sucking on it to relieve the irritation. He could hear the click of the digital SLR behind him as Termite took photos of the kidnappers and their vehicles through the zoom lens, in case they needed evidence later.
He pressed his radio’s talk button. “Sierra One, this is Sierra Six. Notify when you are in position. Over.”
He shifted his aim to the skinny one with the bowlegs, who he assumed was the leader by the way he was ordering the others about. All of them wore gray uniforms with Atlantic blue caps and a Mexican flag patch on their left shoulder. The uniform of the Federales, the Mexican National Police. From the nonchalant way they were standing around, he decided they probably were real cops. If anything, this made him angrier. They were kidnappers. Taking advantage of their position to earn a corrupt living. Way he figured it, killing these creeps would do both countries a favor.
All the same, if they had to let the bastards go or forfeit the ransom money, he wouldn’t care, so long as they got Sophia and Danni back safely. The three volunteers he’d recruited from his Delta unit knew that freeing the girls was their one and only priority.
“We’re good to go, Sierra Six. Over.” Scotty's voice was as mellow as a tenor’s. After six months away from combat operations, Scotty was hungry for action and had been the first to volunteer for the unauthorized mission.
Mac shifted the crosshairs of his scope to the thickset Federale with the pockmarked face and dull eyes. This guy reeked of thug—he was spinning a long-bladed knife as though it was a juggler’s club, had a tattoo of a skull on his neck, and when he laughed his lips pulled to one side in a sneer, as though he’d been cut and sewn back together by a surgeon with Parkinson’s disease. All of these guys would kill without hesitation, Mac was sure of it.
Scotty and Freckle were tucked away somewhere in shadows on the next hill. Two firing positions gave them better observation capability and a broader perimeter of fire.
After the call from Bob telling him the sixteen-year-old best friends, Sophia and Danni, had been snatched off the street in Tijuana, he’d had just enough time to grab three volunteers, hunt down some kit from the Delta store, and hitch four seats on the shuttle from Fort Bragg to San Diego. With luck, they’d be back on base before anybody noticed. But if the shit hit the fan, they were on their own.
“Sierra One, I’ll take the guy with the knife and the leader with the pistol. Scotty, you take the two with the AK-47s. Freckle, you stop the van going anywhere.”
“Affirmative,” Scotty said.
Bob's dusky silver Explorer bounced along the rutted gravel track past the ruins of an adobe hut and pulled up near the kidnappers’ Land Cruiser. It was close enough now that he could hear the two fathers in the Explorer talking through the transmitter disguised in Bob’s belt.
The kidnappers’ leader flicked his cigarette onto the barren ground and hacked up a gob of spit as the two men got out of the Explorer. None of the kidnappers made any attempt to adopt a defensive position.
That was when Mac realized something wasn’t right.
No Remorse From Me
If you like to see justice delivered with a bang, you should enjoy No Remorse. This is my first time reading an Ian Walkley novel, maybe because he's a new voice on the thriller scene. However, after reading No Remorse, I look forward to Ian's next thriller with great anticipation. No Remorse was a roller coaster ride from page one and continued its twisting ride until the last chapter, seemingly bursting off the pages with intensity.
Bravo to Walkley for writing a thriller that has so many great subplots gracefully merging into one great read. Its been a while since I've found a thriller so readable with characters that are well developed enough to care about, both good and bad. The novel is very relevant for today, and includes a lot of story lines prevalent in today's crazy world. Without giving away too much, I will tempt you with some of the subplots Ian uses: child abductions, oil and its place in American politics, Saddam Hussein's purported legacy, secret CIA operatives, Israeli elite forces, assassins, mid Eastern culture and characters, and wealthy terrorists.
To set the stage let me share a part of the storyline. The main protagonist, Mac, a former member of Delta forces, is traded to a covert CIA team for a special assignment in lieu of receiving an unwarranted dishonorable discharge for a project that went south. His new team members, having heard an incomplete distasteful account of Mac's character, are leary of his participation, especially since the last military member of the team was wacko and left a very bad image, particularly on Tally, the only female on this CIA team. Her lack of trust in Mac and complete disgust with his "morality" sets the stage for what becomes a thrilling adventure into the world of espionage surrounding the antics of an exiled Saudi Sheik millionaire. Not knowing who to trust, including your own team leader, sets the tone for a minefield plot that has potential for far-reaching consequences for Mac, Tally, and even the entire unstable world scene.
The chapters are short and each one ends in a way that forces you to read just one more chapter before you realize you simply can not put this adventure novel down. The title No Remorse originally applied to Mac and his actions in the course of completing missions. Before the novel ends you'll not only understand this mantra but will, like Tally, embrace it as your own. As Walkley acutely but expansively displays the many evils in the world today you will likely cheer when the bad guys go down and when the good guys prevail. And you will definitely understand the title. I highly recommend No Remorse and hope that it is picked up by the movie industry; it certainly has all the ingredients to make a blockbuster. Welcome Ian Walkley, job well done!!!
David W. Thriller Reader
Ian Walkley is a refreshing new addition to the thriller genre. NO REMORSE gives the thriller world more twists and turns than a ride up the Matterhorn. Walkley's Lee (Mac) McCloud is a creative new Indiana Jones for thriller readers. The plot twists and fascinating characters keep the pages turning at record speed. Mexican cartels, Arab terrorists, global slave traders, dealers in illegal human organs, and international money launderers create spine-chilling suspense that ends with a thrilling twist. Walkley's in-depth research of weapons, bio-technology, computer software strategies, important social issues, and fascinating exotic international locals make this novel a highly recommended read.
Walkley sets a fast pace from the first page for his action-packed thriller which takes the reader on a rollercoaster journey around the world following conflicted hero, Lee McCloud (Mac). The reader recieves a detailed glimpse into the sordid lives of the ultra-rich and the ruthless politics surrounding them. The plot is complex and jam packed with rich detail and paints a colourful and intriguing picture for the reader. Walkley's unapologetic use of direct and confronting prose provides a stark realism as a backdrop to the presentation of a variety of serious subject matter. A worthy read for fans of international action-thrillers.
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