Review of “Without Fear”

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Book Reviews – “Without Fear” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Colonel David Hunt and R. J. Pineiro (http://www.rjpineiro.com). Mr. Hunt has published five books and Mr. Pineiro nearly 20 novels. This is the second of their joint “Hunter Stark” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Langauge. The story is set in the Middle East of 2005. As the Russians were pulling out of Afganistan, a fighter transporting a nuclear weapon is shot down and the bomb lost.

Decades later in 2005, the bomb is rediscovered by the Taliban. Wanting the bomb activated to use against the west, they reach out to al Qaeda for help. The US, Israeli, Russian and Pakistani intelligence agencies all pick up on the discovery. All of the nations send in operatives to find the bomb.

For the US, the tip of the spear in the bomb chase is Hunter Stark and his team of CIA contractors. They run into one dangerous encounter after another as they close in on the bomb. Compounding their difficulties is the NATO command structure that often causes confusion.

There are also five significant women characters in the novel.  US Air Force Captain Laura Vaccaro, an A-10 pilot, plays an important role in providing critical air support. Senior GRU officer Kira Tupolev leads the Russian Spetsnaz team pursuing the bomb. She is driven not only by the desire to reclaim what is Russia’s but also by the fact that her father was the pilot of the ill-fated fighter that was shot down while carrying the bomb in the first place.

Then there is FBI agent Monica Cruz who is filling in with the CIA as a field officer. She finds herself drawn into the pursuit of the bomb and into action with the Taliban. Pakistani ISI officer Maryam Gadai is also in pursuit of the bomb. Lastly, there is Zahra Hassani, the personal aid and assassin for Saudi Prince Mani al Saud. The Prince is being well paid to help the Taliban get the bomb working. Hassani will do anything to please the Prince.

Stark and his team must overcome one life-threatening situation after another. They have offers of assistance from many quarters, but can these allies be trusted? Will they be able to work with the NATO command team?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13 hours I spent reading this 528-page thriller. I enjoyed the plot and the characters developed for the story. I liked that the story did not just focus on Stark and his team, but brought in many other characters. I think that the cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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