For anyone who knows me, they know that I love military fiction, and I especially enjoy military fiction written by those who have been “down-range.” They add a little more credibility to the stories they write. Although, I’ve read some that weren’t very good, but that’s for another time.

Reaper: Ghost Target is the story of a former African-American sniper in the Army Rangers, with such an impressive kill record that he’s dubbed “The Reaper.” On one particular mission with his new spotter (the guy who locates targets and calls distances), the you-know-what hits the fan. Mortars hit and they get separated, with only Vick “The Reaper” Harwood being rescued. His spotter, Sammie Samuelson, is AWOL.

When Reaper returns to the US, he suffers from blackouts and a hazy memory due to his injuries. These injuries play a significant role in several assassinations that take place which seem to be occurring with his every move, as he travels the country to visit military bases to teach trainees about sniping. He doesn’t know what is happening as the nation’s justice system is fervently hunting him down, but he senses that things are linked back to that fateful day when he lost his spotter.

Written by Nicholas Irving, the original Reaper, the first African American to deploy in the G.W.O.T, and A.J. Tata, a retired brigadier general who has commanded units in the 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne Divisions, and the 10th Mountain Divisions. Irving and Tata use their expertise to write about a plot that is fast-paced and won’t let you put the book down.

What makes this story truly great is not the detail, the plot, or even the fantastic final shot made by Vick Harwood, but it’s the inner battle in Harwood’s mind. The haunting past of being in a foster child, and the guilt of leaving his spotter behind, while he was found and evacuated. It’s as much of a psychological thriller as it is a political thriller.

I’ll be looking forward to the next one: The Reaper: Threat Zero, out May 21, 2019.


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