We're big fans of action novels, if properly written. There really isn't much worse than getting into a novel, really starting to like it, then having them do something so inaccurate and jarringly wrong that it ruins the whole thing...like for instance when you read about two SEALs that hold the rank of Major, who break the "wooden" stocks of their M4s over the skull of a critter they're fighting.
Pretty lame (and yeah, that happened, from a best-selling novelist too). What's particularly vexing about a lot of those things is the
So lately, to avoid stoopid shyte, we've been reading three authors. Dalton Fury, who wrote Black Site, Marcus Wynne, who wrote No Other Option , and this cat named Jack Murphy, who wrote Promis: South Africa. All of them are great authors, all of them equally enjoyable: today we're going to talk about Jack's book, though.
Promis: South Africa is the latest in a series of books about Sean Deckard, and it's good. The fact that the author (whom you might just recognize from this very blog, by the way) is a combat veteran of USSOCOM's Special Forces and an avid Rhodesian/South African historian make the tale significantly better than you might otherwise expect.
12 SEP 83/0032 hrs/South Africa
Streetlamps cast golden light down on the long empty roads that twisted throughout the Eastern Cape, insects creating a steady buzz that filled the darkness of night with their presence. The occasional window was still illuminated, only to be dashed as the locals tossed a curtain intoplace and prepared to bed down for the night. Although not still, the night was calm until the blast rocked through several neighborhoods, shaking people from their beds and setting off alarm systems on several warehouses located in the area.
South Africa was having another one of those nights.
"Finding themselves in the courtyard of Middledrift Prison, they sprinted to the heavy steel door that led into the prison itself, their rifle muzzles leading the way and scanning for threats. Black ski masks concealed their features from the ever watcing CCTV camera on a pivot mount above the doorway.
Reaching into a satchel, the larger of the two operators produced a specialized door charge made of P4 explosives. Developed years prior during the Rhodesian Bush War, the charge was oftencalled by its nickname, the Gate Crasher…”
You really haven't lived until you've listened to a couple of inebriated Rhodesians talk about the assorted joys and perils of swimming across hippo- and crocodile-infested rivers to go hunt Communist insurgents, or stories of Fireforce operations and pseudo ops conducted in frozen zones. Such stories are always interesting, but add some alcohol in and put a few of those guys together...it's awesome.
Anyway, we won't spoil the book by telling you too much, but we do suggest you pick all three of the PROMIS novellas up on Kindle. You won't regret it; The writing is good and they're action-packed. Once you get done with those, you can go on to read Reflexive Fire...but we'll talk more about that later. (You can probably read this one out of order, but better to read them all.)
13 AUG 80/2117 hrs/Angola
"….the recce commandos worked quickly and quietly. Their Klepper kayaks were cached in the high reeds that sprang up in the shallows on both sides of the river. Weapon and equipment checks were performed at the admin site before the ten soldiers pulled on their fins and kicked into the main current of the river, carrying them towards their destination.
Hours prior, a Puma helicopter had dropped the combat swimmers off even farther upstream where the sound of beating rotor blades would not be heard by the communist backed rebels swarming through the jungle. The Kleppers had carried them halfway, the soldiers paddling into a shallow cove where the kayaks could be recovered later. From there on out, the 4-Recce commandos would surface swim down the river, submerging and breathing off of their rebreathers when the enemy was close by…"
This has been a shameless plug on our behalf for Jack Murphy and his latest book. So we're clear, he didn't ask for it or even know it was coming (though we did clear it with Brandon first). If it seems too self-congratulatory, blame us not him...and how seriously can you take a couple of action figures anyway?
Oh, and watch the official SADF page in coming weeks for some history on C Squadron/Rhodesian SAS, the Selous Scouts and the various numbered Recce Commandos.
Mad Duo Clear
The Mad Duo can be contacted here on Kit Up!, on Under the Radar or at Breach-Bang-Clear. They've also written for Soldier Systems, Officer.com and SWAT Digest. They actually represent the collaborative writing of a half a dozen military and LE personnel
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