This novel details what is essentially a pilot program run by select members of the CIA. The first Maverick Team is composed of former Special Forces operatives led by a intelligence contractor, Derek, who worked tactical intelligence for Tier-One Special Operations units, giving him the boots on the ground experience needed to lead such a team.
Derek’s team is under the radar and off the books, funded by the black budget and outfitted to be completely deniable. The author’s background in intelligence gathering brings a large degree of authenticity to this work. Having served eight years in Army Special Operations myself I didn’t find any goof ups or gaffes that lesser writers often fall into.
That said, I would question the tactical validity of some of the actions taken by the Maverick Team. For instance, why infiltrate via HALO into Pakistan’s lawless tribal area when the team’s primary Area of Operations is in Afghanistan? There are plenty of drop zones in Afghanistan, and one would need to be established near by for resupply anyhow.
I suppose this is where I have some mixed feelings about The Maverick Experiment. As a novel, I give it five-stars, no questions asked. As a non-fiction field guide I would disagree with much of it. I only mention this because we live in an era where our political leaders quote Jason Borne and Jack Bauer as if they are real people. There is no indication that the author has a similar disconnect between fiction and reality, but I would hate to see people read this book and think that this sort of thing is actually a good idea.
While off-the-books covert action teams are needed, and I completely agree with the author’s assessment that risk aversion is destroying our defense capability, the Maverick Team has an absolute license to kill and maim anyone in their way, to including innocent civilians. As a soldier I was often upset with political correctness, however, I never saw the rules against murder to be prohibitive to us accomplishing our job. There is a lot of middle ground between say, the Rules of Engagement levied on Europeans fighting in Afghanistan, and the kind of “weapons hot” attitude of the Maverick Team.
But as stated above, as a work of fiction, The Maverick Experiment stands out in this genre. The action is authentic and original, including assassinations and a pretty cool jail break from an Afghani prison. The characters could have been a little more fleshed out, but I think that this book is intended to be the first in a series, so perhaps we will learn more about them in the sequel.
If you are looking for a Special Operations or espionage thriller that is a cut above the rest. I’d recommend this work to people who are looking for something with a harder edge. The Maverick Experiment is gritty, hardcore, and brutal. Not for the feeble or weak hearted as they say.
16 responses to “Book Review: The Maverick Experiment”
Sweet – the call can be “tip-jar,tip-jar, tip-jar….” not do be confused with the much used “Humpbot” call by regular HotAir.com commentors on election nights.
Thanks for the review – looks like a good kindle read on my next business trip
This one is marked down to .99 cents so there is no harm in at least taking it for a test run John.
Good Afternoon Jack,
Exactly what I thought as well. Thanks again, it is in the I-pad already.
Sometime I’d like to hear your review of the I-pad, specifically as an e-reader. I still need to get my work available for the Nook and other platforms. I had a dude from Denmark asking if he could get my stuff cheaper from another source because his country of course charges VAT making everything way over priced. I ended up just emailing him the PDF’s!
You got a deal…Bummer on the PDF’s, that VAT tax is pretty onerous.
You end up feeling bad for European readers because although you price your work cheap, Amazon has to sell it for quadruple the price to people living in the EU.
Only $0.99? I gotta try it.
Nice review, Jack. It bothers me, too, when the alternative offered to a bad policy is to take it to the other extreme–like the only choices are to go either Beruit Marine Barracks or Mai Lai massacre.
I’m not sure where the author’s actual policy stances lay so I held back from a more serious critique. I think there is room to explore other, and darker, possibilities within the realm of fiction provided we are all mature enough to know the difference between fiction and reality. I suspect that Drew wrote this book largely out of frustration with the BS he saw in Afghanistan…
Good Evening Jack,
I just finished the book and you are spot on. I liked it but I did not get that, “gotta have more” after reading your books (and Hell and Gone) that says deep down in my brain I have to get more. I do have troubles with the total wide open kill orders they have – rule of law is what keeps us above previous empires. I got a vigilante feel about it.
I will hold final judgment though as it is a great price for an enjoyable read. Now for Promis Rhodesia……..
I’m working on it!
Just pokin at ya…I believe I still got to drop out my thoughts on IPad as an e-reader…
It’s been a little slow going with everything else I’ve had going on lately. I’m nearing the end of the draft. Hopefully it will be out by the end of the month. It has turned out a lot longer than I thought it would, encompassing the entire thrust of the closing years of the Bush War, ’76-’80.
Holy Cow – with all the other things you are publishing that is quite a feat! I look forward to more good reading.
As to the iPad – it is a pretty darn good e-reader. I only really use the kindle app so it does not zoom in. With some books I have read that does make reading hard. The background does not give me any eyestrain and adjusts anyway so that is all personal preference.
As for a laptop style computer I only really use it to surf. It is very good at that – but it does not play flash sites so they look awful, or don’t work at all. The touchscreen is addictive and I really find myself touch-screening my work and home laptops pretty often. The on screen type pad can be difficult to use and I tend to make as many mistakes with it as I do with my iPhone.
As music player it is many steps above the iPhone if you don’t use headphones. For movies on the road it is good enough to keep me occupied for certain – Netflix will put cable movies out of business soon on this platform.
Overal – very good battery life, very user friendly, reliable and compatible with my iPhone. I can read my ebooks on both stations. I have the original release iPad.
Yeah, but how well does it stream porn?
Oh man – dang near dropped my milk duds on that one. Can’t rightly say as I gave it up for lent a couple decades ago and never came back! Distinctly related to a couple beautiful ladies found on my FB page….direct comparison between a porsche and a pinto comes to mind.
Inquiring minds want to know!