Sunday, September 20, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Smiley's Run by D.E. Osborne

For a change of pace, I decided to pick up a contemporary action thriller: Smiley’s Run by D.E. Osborne. This exhilarating adventure reminded me why it’s a good idea to jump outside my comfort zone.

Jason Smiley is an ex-cop, Iraq veteran, and former Guantanamo interrogator who, in his return-to-the-US life, has settled in as a private detective, chasing insurance frauds and cheating spouses. A Chicagoan at heart, he is now based in L.A. He can’t return to his native city for reasons that will become clear.

Smiley’s routine is broken when he wakes up naked in a strange hotel room next to a dead man. The man was a client, who worked for a low-level mobster. As Smiley’s mind clears, he remembers he had been on his way to meet an old army friend, Jack Nesmith. Jack had called him, out of the blue, saying he was in trouble and needed help to save the world.

Smiley is a hard-boiled detective, cynical for all the right reasons. He has few friends left in the world and trusts next to no one, but he does trust Jack. He does not trust the unknown woman who appears at the door to the hotel room with new clothes and an assignment for him, ostensibly from the mob: Find Jack– in Chicago.

What follows is an action-packed race around the country and to some Carribean islands as Smiley searches for his old army buddy. Along the way, he becomes embroiled in a complicated plot involving the mafia, Chinese terrorists, jihadist terrorists, and corrupt members of the Chicago police force, U.S. military, and the Department of Homeland Security. Someone has stolen triggers for nuclear bombs and will be attempting to steal the bombs. How much does Jack know? Who is working for whom? And can Smiley sort it all out before it’s too late?

Fans of superheroes without superpowers who have complex emotional baggage but nevertheless get the job done will enjoy this adrenaline-infused debut from D.E. Osborne. If Jason Smiley makes a return visit after a well-deserved rest, I’ll be picking up the next book too!

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