Thursday, August 12, 2010
Grand Central Publishing
Brian Haig can write a thriller. This book moves along at a great pace to a not obvious conclusion. The book opens with a US soldier in Iraq killed by an IED while he is in an unarmored patrol vehicle. The main character, Jack Wiley is a new one for Haig. Wiley is a Wall St. corporate takeover artist who has discovered a small company that has a Holy Grail type product – a polymer that when painted on vehicles acts like 30 inches of steel. With the US at war in Afghanistan and Iraq this invention will make billions for the company that sells it to the government. Wiley engages The Capitol Group, one of the country’s most powerful corporations (read Halliburton) with much experience navigating the military procurement process. The Capitol Group with an assist from Wiley makes a hostile takeover of the small company and goes forward to threaten, bribe and strong-arm the product through the procurement process. A military special agent, Mia Jensen investigates the legalities of the deal and takes aim at the Capitol Group and the senior executives that run the company. The plot proceeds with the reader unable to quite decide if Jack Wiley is one of the good guys or one of the sleazebags who have been part of the military industrial complex cheating the tax payers and under serving the US soldier. You are treated to a stomach turning close up look at this process. I don’t want to write any spoilers into this review but the plot is believable and engrossing through the entire book. The character motivations are credible but I would have appreciated a little more of a back story for Wiley and Jensen.
Haig is a 22 year US Army veteran and has the inside knowledge to make this story realistic and authentic. Unfortunately the theme of corruption among big business, politicians and the military has a real ring of truth to it! A very good read for those who enjoy the action thriller.