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Falcon (The Quiet Professionals) Paperback – May 1, 2015
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Falcon is the story of Raptor 6 team member, Warrant Officer Sal Russo (call sign Falcon). Chasing a traitor among their ranks, Raptor 6 has suffered one too many betrayals in recent months, but the greatest of which is yet to come when they lose someone. All of this collides with Sal’s personal past when, for the greater good of the mission, he learns Raptor has to work with Cassandra Walker, the woman he once loved… and the person who he blames for the death of his fiancé.
There’s always a sense of bittersweet feelings that accompany the end of a series that a reader has found – in some varying form, epic. This is certainly true of Falcon. Though many things only add to the heroics of this novel, the hero is certainly the primary hero of the story. Ronie’s leading men are a force to be reckoned with. Not only are they wonderfully (read: they’re HUMAN!) flawed, they never back down from a fight or shirk their moral responsibilities. But above all, they put their lives at risk every single time without question. Unequivocally, that trait never falters. Because of this, the whole fictional thing doesn’t hold up; these men are real heroes.
What I loved so much about this novel (aside from Falcon, of course) is the conflict. This is one of the most emotionally interesting books I’ve read in a long time. The connection Falcon has with Cassie is tenuous at best, and their past is riddled with mistakes. Their scenes together are tension fueled though not without poignant moments as they respectively remember things left unsaid. The way Cassie loves Falcon is also lovely and the “twist” of the story took me by surprise.
Fans of Kendig’s earlier books will be missing out if they skip over Falcon. A 2016 INSPYs shortlist novel, this one is not to be missed. It’s a cutting-edge thriller full of heart, which not all novels in this genre can pull off. This takes skill and talent, and yet, with grace, Falcon pulls off this and then some together.
Cassie Walker took this mission in Afghanistan, working for the CIA, so she could be close to Sal and hopefully receive his forgiveness. Whenever she encounters him though he is angry with her and leaves no doubt that there will never be a future for the two of them together. A friend Cassie knew ten years ago, but has kept in touch with, now is the means by which Daniel Jin can devastate the lives of servicemen and women everywhere. However, Cassie has faith in her friend, who she used to think of as closer than a sister. Has her friend really changed that much? Is she really so cold and evil? While on the trail of her friend and trying to free her from the clutches of Daniel Jin, Cassie is also worried about Sal and her feelings of love that she still has for him. Will he ever forgive her?
The plot of the story kept me guessing as to the trustworthiness of a few characters until the closing chapters. There was plenty of action, intrigue and well-developed characters. Cassie and Sal had a physical relationship in the past, which didn’t work out at the time, but in the beginning of this story Sal couldn’t stand to even be in the same room with her. Trust or lack thereof was a main theme in the book, and I liked how Cassie in the intervening four years apart from Sal had given her life to Christ. She trusted Him and this His plan for her life. There were some surprises in the story that made for a great conclusion. I have really enjoyed this military series from Ronie Kendig and hope she keeps writing in this genre.
As time goes by and more members are injured and killed and Cassie begins to feel that Sal will never forgive her for past mistakes. One evening he over hears a conversation between Cassie and a little girl named Mila via her ipad. He starts to wonder if maybe there is a reason he can't get that little one out of his head.
When the general in charge of Cassie's assignment shows up he is furious as to why she has not checked in with her handler. She tells him she did...who then? Gearney. That is a problem.
This is a fantastic story, I have enjoyed all of Ronie Kendig's books and can't wait for the next one. Hoping it is Titanus.