Today’s featured high-octane book is Sniper Elite: One Way Trip by Scott McEwen (with Thomas Koloniar). McEwen, now a trial attorney in San Diego, has lived extensively in London. His interest in military history, combined with his intense patriotism, compelled him to accurately record the battlefield experiences of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history.
About this book: In direct defiance of the president’s orders, Navy Master Chief Gil Shannon, one of America’s most lethal SEAL snipers, launches a bold mission comprised of SEAL Team Six and Delta Force fighters to free a captured female helicopter pilot being held by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
The president is afraid a botched rescue could jeopardize US foreign policy as well as end his presidency. But once the special ops community learns that one of their own—the first female helicopter pilot of the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR)—is being held and brutally mistreated, there is no executive order strong enough to stop them from attempting to rescue her.
This fast-paced, action-packed thriller with incredibly realistic and blistering battles introduces a new American hero, Gil Shannon, whose iron will and expertise with the .308 Remington Modular sniper rifle will spell the difference between freedom and an ignoble death for America’s female POW.
Judge this book by its cover? Pretty much.
Reminds me of… Well…Renegade, as it happens. Only R-rated to Renegade‘s PG.
Buy or borrow? Buy for those who appreciate the genre.
Why did I read this book? For Touchstone for review.
Would I read another by this author? I would, though I heartily wish I could edit out the extreme cussing. Ouch, so hard on the eyes and inner ear.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
My take: Is it fact…or fiction? In Sniper Elite, it’s honestly hard to tell. The prologue claims it’s a fictionalized account of actual Black Ops missions, and it’s certainly a story ripped from today’s headlines. Beyond that, Sniper Elite does a remarkable job portraying complex, true-to-life characters whose foibles and faults come into conflict with their admirable moral fiber. Take Gil Shannon, for example, for whom “Dishonor scared him a h*** of a lot more than death.”
How can you not want to follow the exploits of a man like that?
As the daughter of a Navy man, I find it hard to leave patriotism far behind. Maybe that’s why I liked this book, which I judged patriotic without being pandering. In a few places, there are some noticeable narrative shifts within scenes, which isn’t a bit deal unless you’re a writer trained to spot it. But here’s my caveat: this book is not for the faint of heart. It’s definitely R-rated, with strong language and graphic depictions of battle and violence. If you can get past that, however, this is an utterly gripping story of heroism, selflessness and sacrifice, all the more fascinating because it’s based on current events. Sniper Elite is a page-turner that I swallowed nearly whole in two days flat.
Thanks to Touchstone for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Visit Scott McEwen on Facebook.