by Ben Coes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ben Coes’ latest Dewey Andreas thriller, Eye for an Eye (St. Martin’s Press 2013) is the best in the series. With each book, Coes proves why his name belongs with the likes of Brad Thor, Vince Flynn (such sorrow over his recent death), and Ted Bell (I wish he’d get another book out there) rather than the new guy on the thriller block.
This is a heart-wrenching story filled with action, violence, clever deductions–everything we’ve come to expect from Coes’ Andreas series. But, in this one, we get more–a peek into who really is Dewey Andreas. When we see this quintessential warrior picking wedding china with his fiance, it’s clear how the man who opened this series, who knew little about life other than how to fight and kill–had always claimed it was what he was intended to do–has changed. He’s becoming human, pausing to consider the needs of others, beginning to believe there is life outside of guns and international madmen who want to destroy the civilized world and the isolation Andreas has known most of his adult life. On a pre-wedding South American ‘vacation’ trip with his fiancee, that fragile belief is ripped away by a powerful foe from Andreas’ past, intent on vengeance. Where normal humans would crumple under the emotional weight, Dewey returns to the hind brain self he knows best, trusts implicitly–
“Anger fueled with sorrow, hatred, and every other dark force that had ever completed any man to kill …washed over him like a storm tide… Every step for the rest of his life…would be scarred by that pain which now coursed through him … It was that time he’d come to recognize, that crucible that alone was Dewey’s, a gift and a curse; the moment of the warrior.”
Andreas does ‘what he does best’ and spends the next three hundred pages bringing to justice the man who is responsible for destroying his dream. It doesn’t matter to our hero if that means his death as long as the score is evened and his internal pain ends.This is the man we met in all prior Andreas novels, the one who took a back seat to the human who fell in love with Jessica. Because of a Chinese politician named Fao Bang, the warrior is back.
It never ceases to amaze me how well-plotted Coes’ stories are, no matter their intricacy, no matter their temporal disparity. I wish he’d share how that’s done. Does he use a fifty-page draft or let his characters lead? Whichever it is, plots and subplots are interwoven seamlessly. His characters are believable, their voices strong, dialogue crisp and organic. There is never a spot in this story where I thought he wasted my time (a tragic no-no for thrillers) or confused me. No errors that spoil the story.
I recommend this entire series be on the Must-read list for every thriller fan.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a weekly columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, IMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.