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Death Watch Paperback – November 28, 2014
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New novel plights Navy against itself as carrier crew combat the deadly Ebola virus aboard a floating hot-zone.
SAN DIEGO, January 7 -- Thousands die in an Ebola outbreak aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea while Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents in Europe pursue the terrorist responsible in the new Motivational Press thriller, Death Watch, by veteran military writers Michael Sedge and Joel Jacobs.
“Ironically, the concept of Death Watch began twenty years ago, after the 1995 virus outbreak in Zaire and subsequent Ebola rise in Gabon,” explained Michael Sedge, author of 15 books, former correspondent for Armed Forces Journal International and American Society of Journalists and Authors director-at-large. “We linked this natural threat to the rise in global terrorist activities of mid-‘90s and the book’s plot was born.”
Based on a DELTA Force soldier turned terrorist and planting the deadly Ebola virus on the world's most powerful warship of its time, the USS George Washington, Death Watch was originally presented as a motion picture-book release which drew immediate interest from Hollywood.
Several experts, including the editor-in-chief of one of Washington's major defense publications, referred to Death Watch as "a great military thriller," while a Hollywood producer and Emmy winner called it “a blockbuster."
The 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States in 2001 however caused producers and publishers to back-away from the movie-book, stating that, “There is no way we can release a work in which a terrorist is attacking the United States.”
Now, two decades later, the authors, in cooperation with Motivational Press, felt the timing was right to pull Death Watch off the shelves and release it to the public.
“Our research and military consultants—including some also used by novelist Tom Clancy—are impeccable,” said co-author and U.S. Navy veteran journalist, Joel Jacobs. “We even went as far as consulting with the Department of the Navy and the Center for Disease Control, to insure accuracy in every aspect.
“Today,” added Jacobs, “Ebola has again emerged and become a global news topic. Terrorism is flashed in broadcast and print media daily. And NCIS, which twenty-years-ago was known only in military circles, is a household word thanks to the television series of the same name. So, after twenty years of waiting, the time for Death Watch has come.”
Media enquiries and author interviews:
It's a question with no definite black or white answer, but I'd put my money on George Haddan, the protagonist of "Death Watch" (Motivational Press, 300 pages, $16.95, available from Amazon.com in print and in a $7.99 Kindle edition), a techno thriller by Michael Sedge and Joel Jacobs.
Following a format established by Frederick Forsyth in "The Day of the Jackal", the authors present us with a fully fleshed out character in George Haddan. He's a former American DELTA Force commando who is seeking revenge for the death of his mother, which he blames on the U.S.
Haddan left the military and became a free-lance hitman. His knowledge of languages and customs helps him function seamlessly in Italy, Germany and throughout the Middle East. He funds a German scientist who manages to isolate and concentrate the deadly Ebola virus. Instead of targeting a few dozen people, Haddan's goal is to kill everybody on the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.
The authors have a front-of-the-book disclaimer saying that "Death Watch" is a work of fiction and that as far as science knows, Ebola is not an airborne virus, and is transmitted by direct contact with an infected victim and/or carrier. The disclaimer says that the method of spreading the virus throughout the ship is "to enhance the overall storyline."
On the trail of Haddan is Jason Blake, Special Agent, Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), as he tracks Haddan through Europe, Africa, and abroad the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. It's a plight that puts the U.S. Navy against itself as the crew combats a deadly outbreak of ebola, making the ship a floating "hot zone" in the Mediterranean Sea.
Blake's role reminded me again of the 1973 film version of "The Day of the Jackal" directed by Fred Zinnemann (one of my all-time favorite movies, by the way!). Blake's counterpart in the film is French cop Lebel, played brilliantly by Michael Lonsdale.
Continuing this comparison of "Death Watch" with "The Day of the Jackal", Sedge and Jacobs populate their book with believable characters, both on the aircraft carrier and in Europe and Africa. This, I believe, makes their work superior to authors who present us with cardboard-cutout one-dimensional people. Some of the characters in "Death Watch" -- especially those on board the carrier -- may seem a bit over the top, but with 6,000 Navy personnel on the carrier, over the top is probably normal!
If you're seeking a thriller that combines elements of Clancy and Forsyth, "Death Watch" is a good choice. I read it in one sitting and was impressed with the writing. I think it's safe to say that George Haddan will make his presence felt in another book by Sedge and Jacobs.
Michael Sedge and Joel Jacobs
Matthew Blake is an NCIS agent who just can't go by the book and follow channels. He takes shortcuts to get the job done. Of course this habit gets him in trouble. He is transferred to the air craft carrier USS George Washington.
George Hadden, an ex-American Deata Force commando, turned terrorist and assassin for hire. His new employer is paying him 10 million dollars to committ mass murder. His target the 6,000 plus aboard the USS George Washington.
Matthew realizes that something is going on. He knows that the Navy will not act fast enough to his needs. He goes off the book and starts to contact his friends for help. He soon understands that his ship is the target and he only has days to figure out the method of attack and catch or kill the terrorist.
This is one of the best thrillers I have read in ages. The characters are very well developed and the whole plot is very well planed out. It is so real that it could happen today. I highly recomend this book to anyone who loves military/thriller stories.
I got this kindle version from NetGalley.
In the tradition of Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum, come follow a wealthy international terrorist, formerly of American nativity, as he receives enormous sums to wreak "punishment" on the U.S. at the behest of a "client." Shadowed for decades by NCIS agent Matthew Blake, terrorist George Haddan is as elusive and mysterious as he is efficient.
I reviewed a digital copy provided via NetGalley for review purposes. No fees were exchanged.
Most recent customer reviews
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By Bob Gelms
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