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Reflexive Fire Paperback – June 20, 2011
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About the Author
Jack Murphy is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group.
Growing up in New York, Jack Murphy enlisted in the US Army at age nineteen. Completing Infantry Basic Training, Airborne School, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program, he was assigned to 3rd Ranger Battalion. As a Ranger, he served as an Anti-Tank gunner, Sniper, and Team Leader, and also graduated from Ranger School and Sniper School.
After several deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, he attended the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course and was selected as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. Over a year was spent training in the Special Forces Qualification Course, including further weapons training, SERE School, language training, and more.
Assigned as the Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group, Murphy was again sent to numerous schools and training courses before being deployed to Iraq. Acting as the senior trainer and adviser to an Iraqi SWAT team, his Special Forces team conducted Direct Action and other missions across Northern Iraq.
Having left the military in 2010, he is now working towards a degree in Political Science at Columbia University. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, the PROMIS series, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.
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"Guns up!" Would be a way to describe Reflexive Fire in two words. Full of action, and Jack Murphy's military experience and knowledge is quite evident as the main character Sean Deckard fights his way from S. America to Afghanistan to the Far East. Action is detailed and is described in detail as it follows multiple characters yet still is able to give you a birds eye view of the battlefield.
I won't go into the details of the plot (I hate spoilers), but Deckard's small mercenary army he's charged with becomes a force to be reckoned with, that fights the battles that more conventional and civilized organizations can't or won't. However it's not just a bloodbath as Deckard learns about his nefarious employers and what a ruling has planned, all while keeping his true identity unknown.
Bottom Line: Great detailed non-stop action without the fluff, starring a man who's not afraid to get his hands dirty while taking down every kind of bad guy you can imagine.
If you want to know how to infiltrate an enemy stronghold, this book's for you (given the above in which you don't know how to get out). The first 30 pages were exciting. Then the next 70+ pages were given to Deckard setting up a private army and all the material he needs. Quite a long shopping list. I'll give Mr. Murphy this: he knows his ordinance. But who cares if Deckard insists on the AK-137 or 138 model and the difference between the two? I mean, come on! Seventy pages of shopping the black market? Snore.
In the end, I skipped to the end after suffering through most of the ordinance drill. It ends with an action scene, but it's not well written. Not that exciting at all. Most times, boring.
The book opens with things going FUBAR on a covert operation, introducing our hero Deckard when he comes in to save the day. Murphy displays his talent for the description of violence early, where I am willing to say he outpaces even the modern masters of such things, Stephen Hunter and Steven Pressfield. When he lets the bullets fly and the bodies drop, you get very intense images of conflict and combat that vividly create the scenes and moments he weaves through his story.
There is a slow down point early in the book, when Murphy sets up the global conspiracy that underlines the entire book, but after that it is non-stop, and you will be amazed by the research that went into this title, and how thoroughly he builds the world around you for his characters. No stone is left unturned as he takes you around the world and through intense firefights in Afghanistan and beyond, finally blowing it all up off a secret base as the facades are torn of the worlds secrets.
There are moments when he lays it on thick, when he tries to do to much with the villainy of his triumvirate, but it all comes out into a very well told story that does not disappoint.