If James Bond and John Rambo were mated in a secret government super-soldier laboratory — and the resulting male child raised by double dads Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne — he might grow up to be General Jack Wilder, star of THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE (Book One) by Thomas H. Goodfellow.
The story begins with a tense scene of two kidnapped children literally digging their own graves. Then General Wilder takes over as the story’s unreliable narrator. Wilder cares for his troubled teenage niece and an army buddy with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But Wilder’s own unaddressed PTSD makes him prone to hallucinations. He is a haunted man, and remnants of his past bubble up at unexpected times.
Wilder is drawn out of retirement by Kate, a gorgeous damsel-in-distress who needs the general’s help solving a series of murders with international security implications. A war in the Middle East is about to start in the next 11 days and China believes it has a “insurmountable edge“ in the upcoming conflict. Wilder is tasked with investigating the insurmountable edge, but ends up playing the role of homicide detective, investigating a series of increasingly personal murders. But Wilder’s a bit off. He often calls Kate by his dead wife’s name, and more than half of his conversations are with imaginary people and sometimes even talking animals. He sees signs and symbols in nature that may or may-not be there. Goodfellow’s prose is ripe with wit and humor. He deftly crafts descriptions of nature that reflect Wilder’s inner turmoil.
THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE (Book One) is propelled by smart, tight dialogue that keeps the pace moving. At times Wilder’s superman antics are a bit over the top — like when he single-handedly beats up a gang of bikers to rescue two children. But, for the most part, the General is a lovable hero and a damaged man who is more than capable of administering damage himself.
Unfortunately, THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, it just ends, with General Wilder’s murder investigation growing more complex, a situation that will presumably be addressed in book two of the series. While this story and the character may be familiar, the power of Goodfellow’s writing keeps it fresh.
THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE (Book One) is an on-point action thriller with a wisecracking antihero that will win over fans of Tom Clancy, Jeffrey Deaver and Robert Ludlum. PTSD makes for an unreliable narrator and a wild — at times surreal — ride in this military who-done-it.
~Rob Errera for IndieReader