Alex Morgan is Chris' alter ego - and often, when you have an ex-military, been there, done that, type of protagonist, it's a case of 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' on the part of the author. With Allen and Alex, it's more a case of 'been there, done that, bought the elite paratrooper turned counterterrorism expert t-shirt'. Because these are the facts, folks. Chris Allen's life is just as fascinating as fiction, and probably quite a bit stranger.
From a firecracker start in the drug-lord heavy jungles of Peru, through to decisive, tightly written action in the political jungles of Washington DC, RANGER is Allen’s best writing yet. Not only do we see Alex Morgan facing his own demons, but we also have the chance of understanding just how serious the human fallout of modern warfare is for those who stand up and say ‘I choose right, not easy’.
There is no way to go any deeper into the action without giving plot spoilers, except to say there is brotherly love, lots of stabby stabbing (yes, I love the stabby stabbing), mind control, two of the most unpleasant characters I have come across in quite some time in the form of the two Danes, and someone whom you hope like hell has a shred of humanity left inside them, but truly, absolutely doesn't.
In some ways, this is an almost impossible book to choose to review, because there is a large degree of 'reveal anything, and you reveal it all' to talking about it. By the same token, that does the author a disservice, because if you actually went by the synopsis, the information presented by any of the major booksites (and yes, this includes you, my beloved Goodreads) or in fact half of the blab that has been written by other readers, you would assume this was a book about a completely different subject, and with a very different protagonist.
It may seem strange to start an article about an author called Joe Ducie with a title of 'The Mighty Ducks', but firstly, as anyone who reads my nonsense knows, I never have straightforward titles; and secondly, this time, it really does make logical sense.
Well, semi-logical anyway. Which, in many ways, is much like Mr Ducks - er, Ducie and myself, when we indulge in a glass or two of red wine.