I received two of the three in the Jon Reznick series from Netgalley. Jon Reznick is a former Delta warrior, now a “ghost” employed by the American government as a legal assassin who takes his orders from shadowy handlers that rarely support him if efforts go awry. He was their plausible deniability, with no direct link to any US personnel.
“Reznick was not the judge. Nor the jury. He was the executioner.”
But Reznick is not the soulless, morales-challenged killer that would fit nicely into this description. He has lines he won’t cross and he has background lessons that came not from his time with the military, but influences before that:
“Highly decorated. A bit of a legend among the Delta cadre, by all accounts.”
“He thought of his father, wearing his medals at the Vietnam memorial. He thought of Lauren [his daughter] in her hospital bed. And he thought of his wife, the split second before the towers collapsed. He imagined the horror and fear that must have engulfed her as she disappeared into the dust and the concrete and twisted metal.”
“He didn’t show himself to the world. That came from his father, who hadn’t been able to abide histrionics. Reznick’s father had thought a person was unhinged if they panicked about being late or forgetting items from a shopping list. No one died, so what’s the problem? His father had hated the latter part of his life, working that soul-destroying job in a fish-packing plant in Rockland. But he never bitched about it.”
Life events shaped him in a way that can never be bridged by the present.
Though some sources compared Reznick to Jack Reacher, I didn’t see it. Reznick is an interesting character with serious talents in his chosen assassin field, but his morals and backstory are significantly different from other fictional characters. Not better or worse. Just different.
by J.B. Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In J. B. Turner’s first in the Jon Reznick series, Hard Road (Thomas & Mercer 2016), Jon Reznick is sent to eliminate a man who threatens United States security, but it quickly becomes obvious he not only has the wrong man but the op itself is compromised. The man (known as Luntz) has an FBI protection detail who is murdered by someone who wants to kidnap the scientist. Reznick saves the man’s life and they flee to safety where Reznick can figure out what’s going on. But things go from bad to worse when his daughter is kidnapped to force Reznick to turn over the scientist to the people chasing him. Trying to save his daughter puts Reznick in a fight for his life, not sure from one moment to the next who he can trust. But that is only the beginning. The FBI wants Luntz back, with the secrets they declare are important to national security, and they don’t care what they have to do to get him.
The only bad part was that Reznick killed a dog who was simply doing its job defending a property. Kill all the humans you want, but dogs are innocents. Well, one other part that worried me was how many Dexedrine Reznick popped to stay awake. Not a good long term strategy.
by J.B. Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In J.B. Turner’s third in the Jon Reznick series, Hard Wired (Thomas & Mercer 2016), Reznick gets a call from an old special forces buddy he hasn’t talked to in a while. The man is in a car wreck dying and wants to warn Reznick that someone is after all of them.
“They’re here. And they’re going to kill us all.”
Whoever “them” may be is not immediately clear to Reznick. The police call it an accident, but Reznick doesn’t believe them. With another Delta friend, he soon finds what appears to be a revenge plot against a mission Reznick was part of during his Delta days. When other members of that team are also killed in what appear to be an accidents, Reznick knows he must either find out who is behind this or be the next one killed.
I like that Reznick isn’t entirely likable. He’s rough around the edges, abrupt, and impatient. But he’s also sharp, sure of his moves, and very good at connecting the dots. I did find the logic behind the plot a bit extreme for me at times. Fiction requires that readers willingly suspend their disbelief in favor of a fun ride, and I had trouble doing that in parts. Bot the strength of the characters and the author’s storytelling skills made it work.
This series is recommended for those who love extremely talented warriors who refuse to tow the line for the sake of following orders.
More Maverick thrillers
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, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.