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When Diplomacy Fails Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2013
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About the Author
Michael Z. Williamson is retired from the US military, having served twenty-five years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Fox. Williamson is a state-ranked competitive shooter in combat rifle and combat pistol. He has consulted on military matters, weapons and disaster preparedness for Discovery Channel and Outdoor Channel productions and is Editor-at-Large for Survivalblog, with 300,000 weekly readers. In addition, Williamson tests and reviews firearms and gear for manufacturers. Williamson’s books set in his Freehold Universe include Freehold, Better to Beg Forgiveness, and Do Unto Others. He is also the author of The Hero–written in collaboration with New York Times best-selling author John Ringo. Williamson was born in England, raised in Liverpool and Toronto, Canada, and now resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Elke makes a lot of things go bang, there's a lot of good marksmanship, and there's a high body count, mostly of deserving 'scum bags' :)
However, this novel just didn't seem as engaging as the others that preceeded it. It's not as good as Do Unto Others nor as original as the one immediately prior to it where they protect Caron Prescott. Unfortunately it was a bit predictable at the end, but still a very good book to read when you have some time.
The book is a great action packed military themed sci-fi novel. I have never been disappointed with any of Williamson's novels ( I own all of them, to date). You will not be disappointed either. If you enjoy science fiction with a military flair and enjoy good action and well written works, this book is for you.
In the previous volume, Caron is having problems with accepting the need for so much protection. She is already upset by the public perception of her family and now is faced with further isolation from her friends and the public. She gives in to her father's views, but still has doubts.
Joe pushes for low key protection to improve their family image in the public media. Bryant also has problems with public perceptions and insists that the team carry only nonlethal weapons. Alex ignores Joe, but argues with their client. He is ordered to continue with nonlethal methods.
Naturally, Elke has collected a few explosives from here and there. Jason knows that she really loves explosions, so he allows her to keep a few bangers. He strongly suspects that Aramis has a backup gun somewhere on his body.
They train Caron in defensive moves and the use of a few defensive measures. She quickly learns to let the team lead in emergencies, but she still has problems with her isolation. She takes out her pique on the team members, particularly Elke and Aramis.
In this novel, Don Meyer is the CEO of Ripple Creek Security. He and his company are hated and feared by their opposition.
Alex Marlow is a former USMC officer and is now District Agent in Charge of an Executive Protection Detail from Ripple Creek. His team is among the best in the business.
Aramis Anderson is a former USA officer and is a member of Alex's team. During his first mission, Aramis learned to meld into the team and is now a reliable agent.
Jason Vaughn is a former UNPF trooper from Grainne Colony and another member of the EPD team. He has a wife and kids back on Grainne Colony.
Eleonora Sykora is a Czech and the demolition specialist on the team. Elke has experience with many kinds of conventional explosives and some familiarization with nuclear devices. She also is quite handy with various firearms.
Bart Weil is a German wet-navy vet turned bodyguard. He is another member of the EPD team. He probably has more actual experience in personal security than anyone else in the team.
Horace "Shaman" Mbuto is a doctor with extensive experience in combat medicine during the Third (or Eighth) Liberian Civil War. He is the team medic.
Joy Herman Highland is a Minister in the current UN administration as head of the Bureau of State. She is planning on becoming the next UN Secretary General.
Jessie Monroe is the personal publicist for Highland. JessieM issues an endless stream of event updates.
Jason Das is a Captain in the UN Peacekeeper forces. He is the Intelligence liaison to BuState on Mtali.
In this story, Alex meets with Meyer in New York. They have a new client, Joy Highland. She is being sent to Mtali for a Summit among the colony leaders and they have been hired to protect her.
Highland has military and BuState security in addition to the Ripple Creek team, but they have the inner circle of protection. Jason has gone directly to Mtali and is setting up contacts with the other players. The rest of the team will meet him on Mtali.
The EPD team travels to Mtali on a BuState transport. After arriving in orbit, BuState Security delivers the principal to the Ripple Creek team. Highland introduces Jessie to the team and Alex introduces Elke, Aramis, Brad and Horace to Highland. Then they transfer to the shuttle and fly down to the spaceport.
Alex talks to Jessie about the constant stream of signals. He tells her that the opposition is getting too much info from her churps. She is reluctant to delay her location reports, but agrees to wait until just before their arrival at events.
Highland primps in the airlock before exiting the shuttle, but moves quickly toward the podium after leaving the craft. She gives a speech and then poses for a few PR images. Jason arrives with an Improved Attack Resistant Personnel Carrier to deliver them to the compound.
Then a light machine gun fires at Highland and she ducks for cover. The EPD hasn't yet been issued armament, so Aramis climbs into the ARPAC turret and turns the gun toward the LMG. Highland orders him away from the weapon and says that he is ruining the photo op.
Alex then clarifies that the attack has been staged. He tells their principal that the team needs to know about such PR effects. Highland informs him that they are necessary to keep her ratings high. Alex then reminds her that the team is authorized to use lethal force.
The next attack is not staged. It is only cans of paint, but the team has already blown away the attackers before the nature of the threat is recognized. After that, the fake and nonlethal attacks dwindle.
Alex meets with Das and then a BuState functionary to determine the threats against Highland. Almost everybody on Mtali seems to dislike her, but most faction don't have the finances to hire pro shooters. Yet somebody professional seems behind several attacks.
This tale puts Highland into several threatening situations. She seems cool and competent under fire. Then the attacks escalate into serious threats and she looses her cool.
The team finds itself in the unenviable position of boosting their principal's campaign by keeping her alive. The next installment in this sequence has not yet been announced on Amazon.
Highly recommended for Williamson fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of bodyguarding teams, armed combat, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
Highland's supporters fake an attack, which angers Ripple Creek. However, Highland's recent history comes home to roost when a real assaults occur. The security team protects the client from several shadowy adversaries who do not appear to be working as a cohesive team and some of the foes actually may be working for Highland.
The latest Freehold prequel (see Better to Beg Forgiveness and Do Unto Others) is an enjoyable political techno thriller that pulls no punches when it comes to the most dangerous species in history: politician sapiens. The storyline is fast-paced as the Ripple Creek unit tell the adventures in a sarcastic manner when it comes to Highland and her assistant while enjoying taking the fight to their client's myriad of enemies (though they admit to each other they would like to place an explosive up Highland's butt). Though there is a déjà vu feel to the tale, this is a fabulous timely entry as the politician sapiens will do anything to win an election.