If you read Brad Taylor’s first two Pike Logan books, ONE ROUGH MAN and ALL NECESSARY FORCE, you probably thought you’d need a note from your doctor stating that it would be safe for you to read the third. Installments one and two were non-stop wild rides, utilizing Taylor’s background of over two decades in the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces to provide a dark yet adrenaline-charged view of special op missions and the people who make them happen. Be warned, though: if you thought that your previous encounters with Taylor and Logan were angina-inducing, ENEMY OF MINE, the latest addition, will bring on a full-bore myocardial infarction. Does that mean that this is the best book in the series to date? You bet.
"Taylor is a master of the cringe-inducing moment, and there are plenty of them here... Taylor gets exponentially better with each book, and if someone is hunting for a literary franchise to turn into a film, they need to be looking at this series."
Logan is the boots-on-the-ground operator of the Taskforce, a clandestine team that operates outside of the law but at the direction of the President to protect the United States from terrorists. Their latest mission is initiated on the eve of an event that is unexpected and seemingly impossible: a genuine though tentative peace between Israel and Palestine, brokered by the U.S. The signing of the treaty hinges upon the delivery of a significant sum of money that is to be delivered by an American envoy. Naturally, there are many within the Palestinian community --- what one might term “special interest groups” --- who do not want to see a treaty ratified and figure that the best way to upset the fig cart would be a very public assassination of the American envoy.
However, the Taskforce is only getting details of the plot in bits and pieces, and some of its intelligence is wanting in quality, to say the least. It is not entirely clear what is being plotted, or how, or who will be doing it. To complicate matters, one of terror’s major players --- a man not unknown to either the Taskforce or Logan --- is seriously upset that he was not chosen to carry out the assassination, and is planning a very visible and demonstrative act of his own, one that will signify his determination to get a measure of revenge against what would have been his terrorist employers. Logan, his teammate Knuckles and the extremely interesting Jennifer Cahill race against not one but two ticking clocks as the hour of the treaty ratification draws near.
There are, of course, myriad obstacles, including an inability to trust practically anyone except their closest teammates, the occasional faintheartedness of their handlers, and, of course, the fact that mortal danger lies in wait at every turn. Taylor is a master of the cringe-inducing moment, and there are plenty of them here, including one within the first few pages and another about a third of the way through.
Taylor gets exponentially better with each book, and if someone is hunting for a literary franchise to turn into a film, they need to be looking at this series. I might even go back to the theater for its adaptation provided that 1) no one changes a thing from the books, and 2) the actor portraying Pike Logan is at least six feet tall.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 24, 2013