Book Title: The Last Refuge
Author: Ben Coes
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 3, 2012)
I can’t say I was familiar with author Ben Coes before his marketing manager contacted me, offering me an advance copy of his latest book. Neither was I familar with the protoganist of his books, Dewey Andreas, a kickass former SEAL and Delta Force member. But after reading The Last Refuge, I’d fathom to say I am going to get rather familar with both.
The Last Refuge is a political thriller, which begins with a bang, namely the abduction in New York of Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir by Iranian Secret Service operatives (There’s also another dramatic event – which I won’t reveal here – for which Coes clearly calls upon his experience as a former speechwriter for the White House). Enter Dewey Andreas, who owes his life to Meir, and who is determined to both rescue his friend and neutralize Iran’s nuclear bomb, whose existence Meir was tipped off about. To make matters worse, he has to do it without the knowledge of the US and Israeli governments, while having attracted the attention of the Iranian Secret Service.
The book succeeds because while this sounds like a plot from 24, the events which transpire retain an aura of plausibility. The characters also seem realistic, with the villains being multi-dimensional, and the hero having issues of his own. (It also helps that his initials are not J.B, which somehow seems to be the template for action heroes such as James Bond, Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne!)
My only complaint about the book is I wanted it to continue! While much of the book deals with the planning phase of the operation, I would like the execution phase to have been longer, especially after Dewey and gang enter Iran. But I’m saying this because I found the book so damn engrossing.
I only discovered The Last Refuge was the third book of a series after I had finished it. Needless to say, you needn’t have read the first two to find this a highly rewarding read.
If you would like a free copy of the Last Refuge, write in the comments the opening paragraph to your own political thriller. Entries close June 18th. The winning entry receives a signed copy.