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By Thomas H. Goodfellow

IR Rating:
The mission to stop an impending war continues, spearheaded by super soldier General Jack Wilder and his team of military misfits, in Thomas H. Goodfellow's fast and fun THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Two. 
IR Approved
Author Thomas Goodfellow cloaks a good old-fashioned murder mystery in the trappings of an international spy thriller in THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Two.

Thomas H. Goodfellow’s General Jack Wilder is back in THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Two, still trying to stop an impending war with China while keeping his client/love interest, Dr. Kate Lennon, safe from an endless stream of assassins. Wilder is joined by his PTSD-addled partner General Jeff Bradshaw, as well as feisty young Army Ranger-in-training, Adelaide. While Jeff and Adelaide add muscle and brainpower to Wilder’s increasingly dangerous mission, they’re also a handful to deal with. They bicker with each other; Adelaide’s a brat, and Jeff is mentally unstable. Wilder’s not wound too tight either, yet this misfit team is able to cover a lot of ground.

In this second installment, Wilder’s investigation into an impending war with China leads him to the US military’s secretive “dark programmers” and the simulated war games they design. Sinister heavy Carter Bowdoin wagers on the war games and seems poised to sell military secrets to a Chinese politician known only as “Dragon Man.” Wilder believes the murders of drone submarine engineers are a diversion and the true “insurmountable edge” China hopes to gain lies in America’s military software. While Wilder spends much of the novel protecting potential target/potential girlfriend Kate, he’s a step behind the bad guys in book two, arriving late to three different terrorist attacks and barely surviving an ambush. (Actually, he doesn’t survive. Wilder is dead for seven minutes before he’s revived…after which he immediately hops aboard an Army chopper for more adventures.)

Wilder and Jeff have a relationship reminiscent of Joe R. Lansdale’s dysfunctional crimefighters Hap and Leonard. There’s deep love and respect between these two men, even though they spend much of the novel hurling insults at one another. Wilder may be Jeff’s PTSD caregiver, but they treat each other as equals, and Jeff carries the weight when Wilder can’t. Wilder and Jeff don’t give up, and their relentless pursuit of justice is peppered along the way with literary and historical references that enhance the story. Goodfellow is well read, but doesn’t let “brainy stuff” get in the way of his story, demonstrating a sharp sense of pacing that makes THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Two a true page turner. Goodfellow has a habit of repeating and reiterating plot points that can slow the flow, but in a story this long and complex (three complete novels!) frequent recaps are probably a good idea. Only days remain before war breaks out. The clock is ticking for Wilder and his crew, but Goodfellow’s surely got some tricks up his sleeve for THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Three.

The mission to stop an impending war continues, spearheaded by super soldier General Jack Wilder and his team of military misfits, in Thomas H. Goodfellow’s fast and fun THE INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE: Book Two.

~Rob Errera for IndieReader

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