Skip to main content

Scorpion Strike: A Jonathan Grave Thriller


Scorpion Strike: A Jonathan Grave Thriller

At age 19, Tyler Stratton is the pampered stepson of Baker Sinise, owner of Crystal Sands Resort. The posh private island retreat is off Mexico’s west coast, where Gail (Gunslinger) Bonneville and Jonathan (Scorpion) Grave are on a romantic getaway. “Can you think of anyone more apt to find violence in paradise?”

At night, a score of terrorists take hostage hundreds of guests, killing two and dangling the bodies near a pool, threatening to do the same to anyone who attempts escape. During a spate of gunfire causing the captives to scatter, Tyler does just that. He “realized that he was not ready to die. He was, however, ready to kill.”

Encroaching sporadic gunshots roust Jonathan and Gail in their remote cottage. Unprepared for terrorism, Jonathan “had literally brought a knife to a gunfight” and now must perform “a hot operation without his lethal friend and fellow operator, Brian Van de Muelebroecke, aka Boxers” --- although “the Lurch impersonator preferred to be called Big Guy, and really did not like being called Lurch.”

"This Jonathan Grave installment is pure John Gilstrap…on steroids!"

The master hacker and communications director of Jonathan’s team is Venice Alexander (aka Mother Hen), who as a teen had “decided to elevate her name with a more exotic pronunciation…Ven-EE-chay. Everybody got it wrong on the first try, but that fact made for a great trap to filter out telemarketers.”

Ven-EE-chay gathers operatives from hostage situations past, seeing as how Gail and Jonathan are now the Precious Cargoes. “Being in need of rescue was a whole different animal than being the guy in charge of the rescue.”

Among those former team members are Jolaine (She Devil) Cage, who “was just three clicks too close to psychotic serial killer.” And “Dylan Nasbe, aka Boomer, was a former D-boy who’d gotten seriously sideways with Uncle Sam.” Stanley (Madman) Rollins and Henry (Conan) West “had the thick necks and heavy-shouldered look of operators.” Even Jesse Montgomery and dad Davey from FINAL TARGET appropriate a yacht “along the lines of a Sunseeker Camargue” to shuttle the assembled team to the island, and bring back the PCs. “It was good to be back with the team he’d worked with so well.” Moreover, is it possible that Ven-EE-chay meets her cyber soulmate?

The hostage situation is not run-of-the-mill. The island is the staging ground for unimaginable weapons of mass destruction. Tyler gets banged up, breaks a few ribs and comes of age. Predictably, Boxers goes BOOM! with M18 “claymore mines and five pounds of C4 explosives.” The astounding reveal is who are the sellers and buyers of those weapons --- and the scumbag munitions broker, who belatedly realizes he has brought death to many. “Karma was a very real thing.”

This Jonathan Grave installment is pure John Gilstrap…on steroids!

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on July 6, 2018

Scorpion Strike: A Jonathan Grave Thriller
by John Gilstrap

  • Publication Date: June 26, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle
  • ISBN-10: 0786039809
  • ISBN-13: 9780786039807