Friday, March 8, 2013

Deadly Additive

Title: DEADLY ADDITIVE: A Jeb Sledge Mission
Author: Donn Taylor
Publisher: Harbourlight Books
September 2012
ISBN 978-1-61116-187-8
Genre: Fiction \ Christian Suspense \ Legal Thriller
Reviewed by: Steve

To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge, the assignment seemed simple: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend from Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck for his troubles. But things rarely go as planned.

After stumbling upon a mass of dead bodies, Kristin Halvorsen isn't about to leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime, and Sledge soon finds himself ensnared in a chemical weapons conspiracy that involves civilians, guerillas and high-ranking government officials.

But neutralizing the factory isn't enough. Where are the weapons that have already been fabricated? Who are the intended targets? How potent and far-reaching are the effects? A pursuit through South America, the U.S. and the Caribbean embroils Sledge and Kristin in a mission to prevent a catastrophic attack-and leaves Sledge fighting to save both their lives.

While author Donn Taylor peoples his book, DEADLY ADDITIVE, with strong, descriptive characters that stay in character and make for humorous interactions, and his research provides extremely descriptive scenes where one feels as if one is along for the journey, the book leaves something to be desired.  The tension is not really present, because many of the situations lack believability.  I can accept the capture of two women who have stumbled into a situation best left alone.  I can even accept (although not without swallowing a time or two) the idea of three men making it through a small army to rescue them.  However, the idea that the reporter would even consider the notion of willingly returning to the scene of her captivity in order to retrieve the memory card that contains her story is completely ludicrous. 

Add to this the fact that the rising conflict is rather plodding (it just seems to take forever to “get there”), peppered with random sub-plots, throw in a few completely incredible escapes, and finish it off with extreme abruptness, and one has a book that started with real potential, but never really arrived. 

3 stars. 313 pages. $15.99.

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