Written by Ben Coes, narrated by Peter Hermann, about fourteen hours of listening in the unabridged audiobook format. First Strike, book six in the Dewey Andreas series. Released in June 2016 by Macmillan Audio.

A man high up in United States defense believes he is acting in a patriotic manner when recruiting a young militant to build a foundation for easing tensions in Arab nations. An arms for a peaceful nation-building plan begins. The plan backfires. The arms go directly into the structure of ISIS. The collapse of the plan results in the final shipment, a container ship loaded with billions in arms, being boarded by U. S. Navy Seals. Held hostage by ISIS, a Columbia University dorm. The dorm is filled with hundreds of students, parents, teachers. Thus is the story of First Strike.

Screaming students are thrown from dorm windows, brains drizzle down walls, intricately described guns up the wazzooo, double-taps, beheadings, burned alive innocents, many such grizzly scenes abound. Throw into the mix the Ben Coes hero, Dewey Andreas and his small band of cohorts.

The day is saved and all ends well. There ya go!

Why I liked. The espionage genre is fun to read, as is a Ben Coes novel surrounding the exploits of Dewey Andreas. Think Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp or Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Andreas is the quiet, type A, tough guy, loner with a soft heart who is the go-to guy for the President when the world falls apart. The entire subject matter of First Strike is very timely given current events.

Problems. Dewey is beyond a superman. Early in the story he is shot in the leg. Even though this is a ‘flesh wound’ that doesn’t break the femur, it is never mentioned again. Nada. Dewey would have been a bit hampered, maybe a tiny limp, ya think? He nearly drowns, gets pounded to hell a few times in in a manner that would completely disable lesser men. A teeny bit unrealistic behavior. Okay, okay. It’s fiction, lighten up. Secondly, the last twenty minutes of listening wasn’t necessary. The thrilling segments of the book, which are many, drizzle to nothing with this long mawkish scene. You may like it, I thought it was  eye-rolling and silly fill.

Narration by Peter Hermann is great. Nice pacing, tempo, etc., a good listen.

If you enjoy the genre, go for it. Recommended.


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