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Hell and Gone Paperback – April 27, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Reading this book is pretty much like being strapped to a rocket for about three hours. - Jim Morris, author of War Story and  Above and Beyond


A man's book through and through. - Jack Silkstone, author of PRIMAL

Highly recommended. - Midwest Book Review


An action novel that hits you like a brick through a plate glass window. - Post Modern Pulps

From the Author

My intention was to write an old-fashioned commando tale, but with a degree of accuracy and verisimilitude I found lacking in all the military thrillers I could find at the time. Authors had some interesting ideas, but it was too obvious to me most of them had never spent a day in uniform, much less the combat arms and certainly not in elite units.

Action adventure and realism blended together is a tall order, because war is 90% boredom punctuated by flashes of stark terror, stupid mistakes and confusion. Same in elite units, though there's a higher percentage of good planning, capable execution and decisive adjustments on the fly.

This is a tale of exceptional men.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456598988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456598983
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,996,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of military fiction I have to admit that the genre is full of garbage: Boring Clancyesque white male protagonists fighting for god, mom, and apple pie. That's why "Hell and Gone" was so refreshing with its dirty dozen cast of real characters and real personalities.

On the surface the plot appears to be standard-issue for the genre, Islamic whack jobs with a suitcase nuke, but characters carry the story and the plot turns out to be anything but what we expect from "techno-thrillers" or "men's adventure." As a former soldier I was also impressed with the authors attention to detail and general accuracy in regards to weapons and tactics. Every time I thought he slipped up I was proven wrong with what was described a few lines later such as the security situation when the protagonist arrives at his safe house in Sudan.

I liked the descriptions of the mercenaries and found them accurate and true to life. This was particular true of some of the more unsavory characters who had a garrison mentality or bragged about ruining some lower enlisted kid's life. I've crossed paths with guy's like that to be sure. The disenfranchisement of some of the mercenaries also rang true, particularly Scarred Wolf's comment about officers viewing their soldiers as "assets at our disposal" rather then "warriors on our team." The protagonists comments about how shallow rich kids are exactly the type of fodder the military wants as officers was also dead on, thankfully a few good ones sneak through the cracks.

The author does wear some of his politics on his sleeve regarding US-Israeli relations but that is his prerogative and generally his political views are well spoken throughout the novel without bashing the reader over the head with them.
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Format: Paperback
The plot is pretty straightforward: Muslim terrorists have a nuclear bomb. The CIA recruits a dirty baker's dozen of veterans and mercenaries to neutralize the threat. There are only a few questions: "Will they succeed?", "How high will the body count be?" and "Who's going home in a body bag?" Instead, Brown focuses his creative energy on the characters and the action scenes.

In an action thriller it would be very easy for the characters to resemble cardboard props waiting their turn to become cannon fodder, but Brown doesn't go that route. Each of his characters has a story and Brown gives each one the time to tell it, although with the sheer number present some get more time than others. And they're a diverse, fractious lot. Yes, they're all dark-skinned (Caucasians would be a dead giveaway in the Sudan, where the action takes place) ex-military or mercenaries loaded up with testosterone, but the similarities end there. They're distinct individuals with their own sets of skills and shortcomings. They're men, not superheroes. You'll hate Mai for his arrogance and bigotry, but you'll admire Scarred Wolf's ability to execute his bloody job with honor and integrity.

The villains in "Hell and Gone" are truly evil. I don't say that lightly. The manipulation that the Jihadist leader, Ali, and his Chinese consultant, Chin, put fifteen-year old Bassam through is nothing short of diabolical. The scary part is, none of it comes across as far-fetched.

Brown, a veteran himself, uses his characters to address a range of issues. He explores veteran alienation through several men. We get to see how each dealt with feeling disconnected from friends, family and country once they were "back in the World." There's also the matter of American foreign policy.
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Format: Paperback
The world sits on the brink of nuclear war, and no one is the wiser. "Hell and Gone" tells the story of a lost Russian nuke and how it may be aimed at an Israeli city and how the lost beliefs of a teenager may be the thing that starts World War III and a devastation to the unstable Middle East. The hopes for peace lie on Rocco Cavarra and his special operation troops who must crusade through the region and create some semblance of peace. "Hell and Gone" is an exciting action and adventure novel, highly recommended.
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By tmtrvlr on September 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Hell and Gone by Henry Brown is a top-notch military thriller. The author takes great care to create characters that are believable and unique. Normally I can get lost in a book with many characters, but the characters in Hell and Gone were introduced in such a way that it was easy to follow.

This is a realistic story about a teenager recruited by a terrorist training camp for an attack, and a group of elite ex-military men sent to prevent the use of a nuclear suitcase bomb strike upon Israel. Great writing creates scenes so well crafted that I felt like I was in a strange land in the middle of the action.

One of the parts of the story I found most interesing was the the author's descriptions of the physical effects on the men following a firefight. I think this author's work can compare with any of the more famous thriller authors today. I am very pleased to recommend this book to anyone that enjoys thrillers.
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Format: Paperback
This was a great book. I like military techno thrillers, and this one kept me glued to the pages. After developing the main characters, the story quickly develops several disparate threads and weaves them together enroute to a thrilling climax. I found myself picking it up at every opportunity. The ending even left the door open for a sequel. If there is one, I'll definitely be picking it up!
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