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Strike Force 7 by Ian MacAlister
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Strike Force 7

by Ian MacAlister

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An ex-soldier, mercenary, arms dealer, and gunrunner gets out of prison and is asked to lead a small group to rescue an American businessman's daughter and wife from a rebel band in Morocco. His eventual "army" has a hardened female reporter (fresh from Vietnam) on board, a former Central American death squad member, a young German trying to make amends for his father's time as a concentration camp commandant, an Italian gangster, an ex-American soldier who made a fortune by stealing supplies in Vietnam, and a half-French half-Berber whose clan is the ancestral enemy of the group holding the hostages. Of course, by now you're thinking that this is pretty much the usual formula--take all these disparate types, unite them around a single goal, and see who shines and who cracks. And who lives and who dies. And of course MacAlister does just that. It's the way he does it that counts. He is an absolute master of telling a fast-paced story (I should say telling it fast enough that you don't have time to linger over the improbabilities that keep the plot moving). There isn't one author in a hundred who could take this material and tell the story this well. If you're looking for a few hours of satisfying escape, this is it. MacAlister's people and his settings, though not always drawn in great detail, are nevertheless convincing. You do end up understanding each of these characters personal motivations--and you will cheer or cry as they succeed or fail.

But it's no wonder the book is so good--Ian MacAlister is one of the many pseudonyms of the superb Marvin H. Albert, who seemed to be able to write well in any genre he chose. I haven't read a bad book by him yet. It's sad to see how few copies of his works LibraryThing members actually own. I'm doing my personal best to correct that! ( )
  datrappert | Jan 8, 2010 |
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