Book Review – Black Flag

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – David Ricciardi is the author of four novels. Black Flag was published in 2020 and is the third of his Jake Keller thrillers. This was the 91st book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is CIA officer Jake Keller.

Piracy is still plaguing the high seas. Gone are the days of AK-47-wielding thugs in a motor boat. They are more sophisticated now, striking like a well-trained Spec Ops team. No longer looking for mere gold, these pirates are after oil.

These new merciless pirates have taken several tankers. No trace of the crew or the ships has been found. Keller’s investigation leads him to a Greek shipping family. Things become complicated when he begins a romance with the owner’s daughter.

A pattern to the attacks seems to emerge, and one of the Greek tankers appears likely to be the next victim. A plan is set in motion to stop the pirates. The pirates know he is on their trail, and they do not go down easily.

Finding and stopping the pirates is not Keller’s only concern. The Somali warlord behind the pirates has an atrocity planned against his opposition. Keller must try to do his best in spite of his politically conniving boss, Ted Graves.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 376-page thriller. I have read the first book in the series, Warning Light, and enjoyed it. While the cover art is eye-catching, it does not resonate well with the story. I give this novel a rating of 4.3 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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