Death Force by Matt Lynn

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Death Force by Matt Lynn

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An action-packed thriller based mainly in Afghanistan - a great read but not for the faint-hearted.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 978-0755344949

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Steve West, formerly of the SAS, needs money. His uncle's vintage car business is up for sale and he thinks that this might be a way that he can settle down. Ollie Hall was in the Household Cavalry before they dispensed with his services and he needs money too. His girlfriend has her eye on a rather expensive property and no one is that keen to employ him with his record and certainly not for the sort of money that he wants. Bruce Dudley, on the other hand, has a proposition. He wants Steve and Ollie to recruit another eight men and for them to fly to Afghanistan for a 'black op' and at the end of it they'll get three million dollars each.

The job they'll be doing – and until they get to Afghanistan they have no idea what it is – is on behalf of the British army, but they're working for a PMC – a private military corporation. There's none of the kit or back-up that a regular soldier can expect and if anything goes wrong they're completely on their own. On the other hand, the pay is a smidgen better. If you think that this is a bit unusual then forget it – this is the very real face of modern soldiering with PMCs filling in the gaps which the army cannot.

The places will be familiar to you, from Kabul where estate agents do well because of all the agencies needing a location from which to operate, to Helmand province where renting a property is expensive but for different reasons. Matt Lynn knows how to bring the settings to life and throughout the book you'll have a real sense of being right in the middle of the landscape. That's just the backdrop though – this book is all about action.

From the gun fight on the road through to the reason for their being in Afghanistan the action never lets up for a moment. Lynn knows how to keep the pace going and there were occasions when I found I was holding my breath. Throw in all the boy's toys of weaponry that you could wish for and an almost impenetrable target and you have the stuff of which the big name movies are made.

It's no mean trick, either, to have ten men working together and make them all come off the page. Lynn neatly isolates what makes these men tick, the internal and external pressures which pull them into places such as Helmand Province. I was surprised by how much more I understood of the situation there after reading the book.

The book's a very easy read and if action-packed and rather gory adventure is your sort of thing then I think you'll enjoy the book.

I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

You might also enjoy Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha. For more adventure, this time during the Russian Revolution, we can recommend Cold Blood by James Fleming.

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Buy Death Force by Matt Lynn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Death Force by Matt Lynn at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Death Force by Matt Lynn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Death Force by Matt Lynn at


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