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Gray Matter Splatter reviewed by Pete Nealen

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Jack Murphy definitely has a way with titles.  Gray Matter Splatter is a title that few could pull off, particularly in a day and age of nonsensical buzzword thriller titles like True Faith and Allegiance.

But Jack pulls it off, somehow.  Gray Matter Splatter is a breakneck bloodbath in the Arctic, a bit of a change of pace from the last couple Deckard installments.

Read the rest at American Praetorians.

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Researching Gray Matter Splatter

Researching Gray Matter Splatter took longer than the previous three novels combined.  In past books I was often writing about places where I had been deployed to as a soldier, visited as a tourist, or reported from as a journalist.  In other cases, they were countries I at least had some passing familiarity with.  In any case, I at least understood urban combat tactics and such, but in this case I came into the research process knowing very little about the Arctic and next to nothing about winter warfare.

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It was only by consulting with a number of experts on the arctic, including active duty soldiers from America and allied nations, that I was able to begin putting together the pieces and then augment this with my own research.  In this post I will lay out some of the books and websites I found most helpful while writing Gray Matter Splatter.  This can also serve as a virtual library for those who read the novel and are interested in learning more about Arctic warfare and geo-politics.

Books:

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills

New Strategic Dynamics of Arctic Region: implications for national security and international cooperation

Polar Imperative

Project Cold Feet: Secret Mission to a Soviet Ice Station

The Hundred Year Marathon

The Modern Mercenary

Cyber Silhouettes: Shadows Over Information Operations

Websites:

Russia’s plans for Arctic supremacy 

Bring back the Privateers

Russian military bases in the Arctic

Canada’s Arctic Station: Alert

Polar orbiting satellites

Off shore oil drilling in Alaska

Arctic ice floes

New Canadian Arctic base

2001 Arctic report

Ellesmere Island

Camp Century

Other resources:

Camp Century documentary

The Northern Warfare Training Center in Alaska also has a great website with many Field Manuals that can be downloaded at PDF files.

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Gray Matter Splatter soundtrack

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While writing the Deckard novels I am almost always listening to music.  Some people find it distracting, but it actually helps me concentrate.  As I was writing Gray Matter Splatter I was listening to some mainstays like THYX and Mind.In.A.Box but I also discovered some great electronic music compilations put together by DJ Evanstar.  Here are a few of them that I particularly liked:

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Gray Matter Splatter Released Today!

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From New York Times best selling author and Army Special Operations veteran Jack Murphy comes the next installment in the Deckard mercenary fiction series.

The high Arctic is a region untouched by war.

Until now.

A mysterious weapon is stolen from a Russian facility by an equally elusive foe. With America under attack, the only chance to recover the weapon falls to Deckard and Samruk International in what quickly becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse in the Arctic Circle.

Their enemy is technically savvy, sophisticated, and cunning, staying a step ahead of Samruk at every turn as they race across the tundras of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and beyond.

With the numbers ticking down, Deckard makes a desperate final push across the frozen waste while the enemy triggers their final attack: a blow that could knock Western civilization back a hundred years and give birth to a new empire.

Available today in paperback and ebook editions!

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Gray Matter Splatter (Deckard Novel #4) now available for pre-order!

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The 4th novel in the Deckard series, Gray Matter Splatter, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com with a release date of August 24th.  I’m super stoked to be able to get this one out to the readers and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

From New York Times best selling author and Army Special Operations veteran Jack Murphy comes the next installment in the Deckard mercenary fiction series.

The high Arctic is a region untouched by war.

Until now.

A mysterious weapon is stolen from a Russian facility by an equally elusive foe. With America under attack, the only chance to recover the weapon falls to Deckard and Samruk International in what quickly becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse in the Arctic Circle.

Their enemy is technically savvy, sophisticated, and cunning, staying a step ahead of Samruk at every turn as they race across the tundras of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and beyond.

With the numbers ticking down, Deckard makes a desperate final push across the frozen waste while the enemy triggers their final attack: a blow that could knock Western civilization back a hundred years and give birth to a new empire.

Pre-order Gray Matter Splatter today on Amazon!

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Delta Force Operators Advise and Assist FBI During 1987 Prison Riot

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Some special operations missions happen with little fanfare at the time, but as rumors circulate within the community, they begin to take on a life of their own. One such instance was the Panama prison riot of 1994, to which members of 2nd Ranger Battalion were sent to respond, armed with axe handles to help subdue Cuban refugees who had revolted. Another operation that has entered into special operations lore also involved a prison riot and Cuban refugees, this time within the United States, in response to which members of Delta Force were deployed.

The role of Delta Force has never been publicly disclosed, with a vague reference in the New York Times in 1987 being the only statement on the topic: “The Pentagon sent a team of military experts in hostage rescue to Atlanta to advise the F.B.I.”

On November 21st, 1987, nearly 1,000 Cuban refugee inmates revolted against guards at a federal detention center in Oakland, Louisiana, taking 28 hostages in the process. Two days later, another group of 1,500 Cuban refugees rioted at a federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, taking 76 hostages. Both revolts were triggered by a State Department announcement stating that 2,545 refugees from the 1979-80 Mariel boat lift were to be returned to Cuba. During the riots, many of the refugees—felons and criminally insane deported by Castro to discredit then-President Jimmy Carter—opened up other cell blocks, which intermixed the prison population. A full-blown hostage crisis was underway.

Read the rest here.

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Underwater Demolition Teams blow up Nigerian Oil Infrastructure

RIMPAC 2012

120713-N-GG400-022 MAMALA BAY UNDERWATER DEMOLITION RANGE, Hawaii (July 13, 2012) Navy Diver 2nd Class Josh Underwood, left, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (NMDSU) 1, and Leading Seaman Sam Peters, assigned to the Australian Clearance Diving Team, set an explosive charge during the underwater demolition training portion of RIMPAC 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jumar T. Balacy/Released)

A mysterious group called the Niger Delta Avengers has launched a series of strikes directed against underwater oil pipelines, putting a significant dent in Nigeria’s output of oil and appearing to tip the government into a economic recession.  The attacks, directed against Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and an Italian company called Eni SpA, are conducted by teams that descend underwater using diving equipment before employing explosive charges on the pipelines.  Demonstrating a level of sophistication beyond previous Nigerian militants, be they MEND or Boko Haram, the identity of these underwater demolition teams remains a mystery.

Douw Steyn is the author of Iron Fist from the Sea a book about the history of his former unit, South Africa’s 4 Recce which specialized in maritime special operations including attack diving.  Steyn told SOFREP, “The divers that do this operation are highly skilled and trained in the military or by instructors that left the military and know how to train individuals to became attack divers.”  Attack diving, a specialized skill employed by 4 Recce could be compared to the underwater demolition operations that Navy SEALs are trained for.

Underwater demolitions are complicated in nature due difficulties in working in a sub-surface environment, and require long hours of training and rehearsals, as well as mission planning, and reconnaissance.  “The target information is the most important information to have,” Steyn said “because with that information, you do your planning on what type of explosives, how many explosives and the depth of the charges. It also give you the specific place to put the bombs/mines, and of the weaknesses of the target the other point that will be planned in detail is the time delay on the mines, this is determined by the surroundings and means of transport the attackers are using [such as] small craft, submarines, and inflatables.”

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