Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Shaking up the series (4.5 stars)
on July 16, 2014
Just when I thought Brad Taylor was running out of gas, telling a story that was too similar to other Taskforce novels, he decided to shake up the series. I won't say what happens, but it triggers the dark rage that Pike Logan thought his team member and lover Jennifer had tamed. The last half of the novel is intense.
Two storylines weave together. One involves Russia's FSB, which wants to send a Nigerian terrorist to execute a plan that is intended to damage the United States. The plan is farfetched but I guess I can accept that the FSB might believe it would work. When the FSB creates problems for the Taskforce, Pike Logan and his usual team members travel to Bulgaria to learn what the Nigerian is planning.
The other storyline involves Russian intelligence secrets that Mossad is trying to buy. A flash drive holding those secrets contains information that might be embarrassing to the United States government. Pike's team is redirected to recover the flash drive before Mossad can get it. As usual, Pike has his own agenda.
Pike pursuing an unauthorized mission of his own is beginning to feel like a formula but, so far, it is a successful formula. And as noted above, Taylor shakes up the formula with a surprising plot twist that forces Pike to realize how much he depends on Jennifer for a sense of balance while forcing Jennifer to realize how living a violent life is changing her in ways she fears.
As always, Taylor has a realistic and nuanced view of his heroes and villains. Taylor understands that the Taskforce would be called the "secret police" in other nations. Days of Rage illustrates our "confusing new world" in which allies and enemies are often difficult to distinguish. The tension between the interests of Mossad and those of the United States, as well as a debate about whether endless cycles of killing actually keep people safe, provide some of the novel's most interesting moments. Taylor's point of view is a refreshing break from the simplistic worldviews offered by too many thriller writers. I also appreciate the moral center that Jennifer brings to the story. Of course, the high tech gadgetry, fistfights, and chases are fun too. If I could, I would give Days of Rage 4 1/2 stars.