A rapid fire novel about the military and two men posed against each other in a conflict generated by events in combat. John Hayes and Thomas Byrne were together in combat and were as close as men can be when allied in battling the enemy.
Byrne was a medic while Hayes was a Special Operations leader. Thomas Byrne left the unit in order to become a doctor and succeeded in doing so leaving the combat role. In the meanwhile, John Hayes seemingly betrayed the men under him causing their deaths during a deep cover operation. Disgraced and on the run from authorities, Hayes is determined to return to the United States and get back to his wife and daughter. He also wants to take revenge against those people that have caused him to be labeled “traitor.”
Due to the past friendship and close contact with Hayes, Thomas Byrne is called back into service as a means of finding and capturing him. John and a squad loyal to him are responsible for a series of attacks aimed at the people that have accused him of being a traitor. The events move rapidly as Thomas Byrne goes after his former friend.
Quirk creates a story that twists and turns in its progress towards a powerful conclusion. This is certainly an all nighter, and succeeds in capturing the reader right at the start. Very well done and certainly a novel that will cause anyone reading it to look for the next Quirk book.
4/16 Paul Lane
COLD BARREL ZERO by Matthew Quirk. Mulholland Books (March 29, 2016). ISBN 978-0316259217. 384p.