About This Book
Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.
This second installment of The Quiet Professionals series delivers all the intense characters and nail-biting action readers have to come to expect from a Ronie Kendig novel. From the outset of the story, Hawk and Fekiria are immediately likable and relatable. Hawk is an emotionally messed up antihero who wants to be a better man, someone worthy of respect, but he struggles with his temper and the demons of his past. Fekiria not only risks death to achieve and hold on to her dream of becoming a pilot in the new Afghan Army, but also strives to balance her modern aspirations and desires with her very traditional beliefs. As the action inevitably draws both characters closer to each other, it also draws them to a closer faith in God that is never preachy or pandering. That is one thing I always appreciate in Kendig’s novels: her willingness to let her characters’ faith develop organically, and to not tie up spiritual themes or lessons with a neat, little bow. The result is a story that tackles hard issues but also remains true-to-life.
Hawk is a sequel, and as such does not stand on its own. Readers who have not read Raptor 6 will almost certainly be lost from the get-go in this story. I also counted nine different point-of-view characters in this book, which made for a lot of scene breaks that began to pull me out of the story as my attention was constantly diverted. Furthermore, I felt like the story took a little too long to bring Hawk and Fekiria together—it was well past the halfway point of the story before they’re individual story lines converged and the plot promised by the book’s back-cover premise finally took shape. Fans of Raptor 6 will appreciate glimpses into the continuing story of Dean and Zahrah, the heroes of that first book, but like Raptor 6, Hawk leaves a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved story lines that will no doubt continue with the third book in this series.
Hawk is an immensely entertaining and exhilarating read, full of the fast-paced prose Ronie Kendig fans love. The action was a little more scattered in this story than I would have preferred, with its multiple viewpoints and separate plot lines, but it all came together well in the end, and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
Available November 1, 2014 from Shiloh Run