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The phrase,”revenge is a dish best served cold,” is a piece of advice with roots in literature possibly stemming from the time of William Shakespeare. Carr’s powerful novel resoundingly takes a different track.

Lt. Commander James Reece is in charge of a group of Navy Seals and certainly a warrior’s warrior. He is sent on a mission to Afghanistan and his entire team is killed and then the group of rangers sent to extract his squad also lose their lives in the attempt.

Sent back to the states, Reece is astonished to learn that another member of the team has committed suicide. With these deaths weighing heavily, a medical exam ordered for him due to unexplained headaches finds that there is a tumor on his brain. The only thing now buoying him up is the expectation that he is going home to his wife and daughter. The final horror hitting him is the discovery that both his wife and daughter were killed in an attack on his house.

Reece must hold himself together in order to avenge the deaths of his men and wife and daughter which he soon finds are related. The action to find and kill those that were responsible comprises most of the novel. He is livid and not knowing if the brain tumor that he has will kill him shortly, moves as quickly as possible with the help of a few friends. One is a young reporter who is aware that there is definitely malfeasance involved in the actions of the upper level military command, a pilot whose life he once saved, and the boss of a Mexican Mafia group.

There is nothing cold involved in Commander Reece’s actions. He is livid, he just wants revenge and expects to die when it is exacted in order to join his wife and family. The descriptions of the manner Reece handles the actions against those on his list of persons to be punished is, to say the least, gruesome and certainly done in hot blood.

One of the obvious opinions Carr brought out in the book is the low opinion he has of the juggernaut of our Federal government. He obviously feels that it has grown too large and become too cumbersome to properly provide good government, and the system of rules and regulations obstruct rather than help the growth of the economy. People are hindered by regulations which serve to basically interfere with their every day lives. Whether or not the novel was written to postulate Carr’s opinions or not it still is an extremely well written and captivating book about the professional military. It is one that the reader will not be able to easily put down until finished.

3/18 Paul Lane

THE TERMINAL LIST by Jack Carr. Atria/Emily Bestler Books (March 6, 2018).  ISBN 978-1501180811. 416p.

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