Unlikely heroes – folks with bad backgrounds or questionable moral codes- deliver epic results. The term itself brings to mind characters such as The Corleone family who killed at will, but rightfully defended their sister against an abusive husband. You knew what they’d done, but you still cheered for them. Add a new name to your unlikely hero memory bank- Aleksandr Talanov.
Finding a more unlikely hero than a former KGB Colonel would be the needle in a haystack. But, here he is- a widower, an immigrant to America, haunted by the ghosts of his past. Forced to carry the guilt of the assassin’s bullet that took the life of his wife instead of his own, he’s torn between self-loathing & the steely, outward persona he’s forced to adopt.
After a less than fulfilling romp with lady of the evening, ‘Tash’, he finds his wallet is missing. Caring little for the monetary elements in it, all he wants back is his priceless wedding photo. Getting the picture back launches him into way more than he wanted or bargained for.
Propelled by the desperate need for closure in his wife’s death & his relentless search for answers, Talanov soon finds that ‘Tash’ is connected to a dark world of human trafficking. Many of these traders are also connected to his former KGB life. He’s been trained not to care, not to love, but he can’t suppress the need to help the defenseless. Will rescuing ‘Tash’ from her tormentors also bring about the answers he needs? Or will helping someone else cost him his journey?
A strong supporting cast of various individuals from government agents to other trafficking victims fills the story with depth & intrigue. Although best described as suspense or thriller, there is mystery all around. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, it switched. I love that.
It was dynamic seeing our hero try desperately to remain true to his cause while fighting the real, human emotions that he’d been taught to suppress. The plight of the ‘girls’ was unfortunately all too accurate. Reading of their struggles, although fictional, was moving.
Talanov is the type of unlikely hero that causes the reader to fall in love with a series. He will be to James Houston Turner what Alex Cross has become for James Patterson. The type of man you could meet at the store & never know how deep he’s been hurt or how strong he can be. I was very pleased to see that ‘Dragon Head’ is coming in 2013.
There is no good place to put your bookmark because the action never stops. I read straight through and couldn’t help myself. I just had to see how it all played out. I can give nothing less than 5 of 5 stars for incredible action, heart-gripping characters, and bringing a new leading man into our lives.
- Author: James Houston Turner
- Paperback: 505 pages
- Publisher: Comfort Publishing
More information about James Houston Turner can be found at www.jameshoustonturner.com.
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I received one print copy to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.