Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review: The Rogue Gentleman #1 Private Vendetta by Brian Drake

I read RG #1 over the weekend, and it was a lot of fun. This is perfect summer reading, subway ride, lunch break entertainment. The action moves fast, the dialogue is quick and snappy, the exposition clear and engaging.

The main character, Steve Dane, is a former Force Recon Marine and ex-CIA operative. Although the reasons for his departure from the CIA are vague, we know Dane has left government service on less than stellar terms with his former employer.  Dane spent some time as part of a mercenary company called the 30-30 Batallion, and he's got a lot of contacts around the world in all lines of work, from old CIA partners to former 30-30 comrades. Not all of these people are happy to deal with Dane, but you get the impression that his network is far-reaching and will play a part in every adventure. In addition his "partner" and lover is a former Russian secret agent, Nina Talikova. The dialogue and banter between these two is entertaining and does a good job of giving the story a little "fluff".

The plot of Private Vendetta is pretty straightforward: While vacationing in Italy, Dane gets caught up in the abduction of a retired Mafia boss' daughter. Turns out that the boss has an enemy who wants to kill the daughter in an act of vengeance.  However, as the plot unwinds, we discover there are some larger, much more dangerous activities going on that Dane gets caught up into.

While Brian might want to make another editorial pass (I spotted a couple of minor, but obvious, wording errors early on in the story), overall this was extremely enjoyable and a perfect example of the kind of lost "men's adventure fiction" the Kindle and other e-book readers are helping to bring back; short, quick, escapist reads that are light on length and cost, but heavy on action and adventure.

1 comment:

Brian Drake said...

Thanks for the review. I assure you that we learn more and more about Dane and Nina as the episodes develop. Number 4 is almost done and should be out in May; episodes two and three are already available.