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Bloody Sunday

Review

Bloody Sunday

Events sometimes overtake us. So I doubt that, while writing this edge-of-your-seat thriller, Ben Coes ever imagined that President Donald Trump would be meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un just a couple of months before this latest installment in the Dewey Andreas series would be published. It is an indication of the depth of Coes’ talent that, although the real-world occurrences haven’t quite turned out as he postulated, every paragraph here is worth reading.

BLOODY SUNDAY begins with Dewey, a former Delta operative and current CIA agent, getting some measure of revenge for a past wrong visited upon him. When I say “measure,” please note that Dewey does nothing by halves. However, he still feels an emptiness and decides that nothing can fill it other than quitting the CIA and retiring to his family’s farm. That is exactly what he does, even though he is hardly out of the clandestine door before he is being recruited for one more mission. Dewey refuses, but is brought back into the fold in a very interesting way. The mission is a complicated one, with a simple equation.

"This all would be a bit too much in lesser hands, but Coes keeps things moving in an orderly manner, though at breakneck speed.... There is enough action and casualties in BLOODY SUNDAY for multiple thrillers."

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, is up to something. The reader knows more than the CIA, since Coes lets the story spin out on parallel tracks before intersecting. North Korea has the uranium, and Iran has the rockets. Kim sends his most trusted general to meet with a delegation from Iran for a trade. The idea is that Dewey will inject a highly specialized, fast-acting poison into the general. He’ll get an antidote, which is at another location, but only if he gives up all of the state secrets about what Kim is planning. Things go awry, with Dewey accidentally getting a dose of the poison as well. He has to go to North Korea, find the antidote and save himself.

If that clock isn’t ticking loud enough for you, the United States learns that Kim is planning a nuclear attack on all of its cities. Since Dewey already is heading to North Korea, it is decided that he also should remove the threat to the U.S. by killing Kim. He must do it quickly, though, as the U.S. isn’t going to wait around to let Kim set off his missiles. Instead, North Korea --- with Dewey right in the middle of it --- will be the subject of a preemptive nuclear strike.

This all would be a bit too much in lesser hands, but Coes keeps things moving in an orderly manner, though at breakneck speed. That said, if you’re not exhausted by the time you reach the last page, you weren’t paying attention.

There is enough action and casualties in BLOODY SUNDAY for multiple thrillers. If you are just now coming to the Church of Coes, be of good heart. He does a masterful job --- maybe the best of anyone --- of bringing newbies up to speed on all things Dewey Andreas by revealing just enough to compel going back and reading all that has gone before. Trust me, it’s all great.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on July 31, 2018

Bloody Sunday
by Ben Coes

  • Publication Date: July 31, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250140765
  • ISBN-13: 9781250140760