About This Book
Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.
Having read Raptor 6 and Hawk, I was absolutely dying to read this third and final book in The Quiet Professionals series, and on the whole I was not disappointed. Ronie Kendig delivers an intense, heart-pounding finale that I literally could not put down once I started reading it!
One of the things I love about Kendig’s books is her commitment to honoring our troops, and not just with the stories between the covers. Each of her books in this series has featured a real-life serviceman on the cover, and there’s a great blog post in which she shares the story of Falcon‘s heroic cover model. Patriotism and pride in our troops shine on every page Kendig writes.
But it’s more than just an homage to real-life heroes. Falcon is an intense, action-packed military thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the very end. Salvatore “Falcon” Russo was not the easiest hero for me to relate to, nor was Lt. Cassandra Walker, the heroine. These characters shared an intense, somewhat tragic history that left them untrusting, angry, bitter, and harboring secrets. While it ultimately worked great for the story, I never really felt invested in them because they were almost too angry and closed off, even from me the reader. But this story brings back all of the Raptor black ops team from the previous books, and having fallen in love with those characters (especially Captain Dean Watters, the hero of Raptor 6 and my favorite character in the series), I was more than willing to keep reading to find out what would happen to them all.
Beyond the Raptor team, the plethora of supporting characters was quite overwhelming. If you have not read the previous books, I definitely do NOT recommend this book. Even having read this whole series, I was often lost and trying to keep up with who was who and what was what. Kendig’s trademark “Rapid Fire Fiction” was almost too rapid at times, and on more than one occasion I found myself reeling, having to flip back several pages and re-read in order to figure out what had just happened.
There were also a great number of point-of-view characters, some of which suddenly began telling the story without any context or set-up, and it took me several scenes before I finally made the memory connections to who these people were from the previous books. There is also a good deal of violence, including military operations, explosions, building collapses, even torture, as well as some implicit language (no actual swear words, but moments when we’re told someone “swore” or “cursed”) which make me unwilling to recommend this book to younger readers. As a movie, these would be PG-13 at least, possibly rated R, as a screenwriter would probably take all the implied bad language and make it explicit. But mature fans of great military thrillers like Tom Clancy novels will absolutely love Falcon and the whole Quiet Professionals series.
My best advice? Now that all three books are out, set aside a binge-reading weekend to read them all at once, in sequence. In fact, I plan to do just that later this summer! Because these stories are definitely keepers, and worth re-reading over and over again.
Available May 1, 2015 from Shiloh Run