War Hawk by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
Published by Orion Books in 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4091-5448-8
This is the second interesting collaboration between Rollins and Blackwood (the first was The Kill Switch) The story reaches into the electronic world of artificial intelligence, cyber attacks and computerised warfare waged by highly programmed robots, stealth weapons and drones and foreshadows the day, not so far off, when there will probably be no need for boots on the ground. Once again one meets former U.S. Army Ranger Tucker Wayne a veteran of Afghanistan suffering from PTSD and his devoted partner, Kane, a keenly responsive and powerful Belgian Malinois shepherd dog. The formidable duo gets embroiled in investigating a diabolical crime that has its roots at the very heart of government when Jane, Tucker’s ex colleague and old flame who’s fleeing those seeking to liquidate her, approaches Tucker for help. The novel delves in to the secret world of Bletchley Park and the pioneering work of Alan Turing then flings the reader into the 21st century as a power hungry, megalomaniac head of a private corporation struggles obsessively for global dominance. The plot is well constructed, characters are generally engagingly rounded out and the story moves at a good pace with a lively dialogue although readers may find the technological descriptions challenge and jar and some incidents defy belief. The hairy adventures twist and turn from the Deep South via the tropical paradise of Trinidad and Tobago to the inhospitable terrain of rural Serbia and just when one thinks the game’s up for Tucker and Kane, the situation reverses and they’re riding high again. To me, the pooch to be the real hero of the hour, it being evident that the training of a combat dog by its handler and the unique relationship established between them was thoroughly researched. The book doesn’t disappoint, as I can’t wait to see more of amazing Kane.