I got introduced to Mike and the Warlock Series on the Council of Future Conflict webcast. He describes the series as what countries should be doing to protect their national interests, but lack the fortitude to do so (I’m paraphrasing). In other words, it’s good guys taking the actions they need to in order to protect America, without politicians tying their hands. Since I write thrillers, I thought I’d dive in with book one, Las Vegas on Twelve Dollars a Day.
In many respects, I felt that this book was laying the foundation for things to come. This book is about building the character of Jon Prescott, almost from the ground up. It is the most intricate and detail laden character developments I’ve ever experienced. This is a character that is far from perfect and he evolves throughout the story to be a player in the deadly world of undercover clandestine service.
This is not a book with fluff or flowery descriptions. I felt some of the scenes could have been fleshed out more, but that critique is from me as an author – not a reader. It’s not a light and fast Tom Clancy-ish read. This book dives deep into clandestine operations and can make your head swim with the depth of complexity that the people in this world must cope and process with. It gives the book instant credibility.
The reader is bombarded with a lot of technical detail, which for me was a treasure trove of useful information. I found myself highlighting a lot of the sections for future reference. You may think that these details are obtrusive at first, but this is all part of the character of Jon Prescott. These details are intertwined with the character – and all come into play later in the book.
Far too often, authors (myself included) gloss over the intricacies of special operatives. Mike Bennett doesn’t dumb things down for the reader – he puts you right in the life of his lead character. I came away respecting Prescott as a character, and really appreciated what he (and his real-life counterparts) sacrifice for the freedom I enjoy.
My only real critique of the book was the lack of a glossary for the acronyms. I did a lot of flipping back at times to make sure I knew what was being referenced.
Mike Bennett has created a no-nonsense character that has, perhaps the most true-to-life resume’ of any fictional figure in this genre. It’s not for the casual reader as much as someone that really wants to see behind the clandestine curtain. The book left me wanting to read the rest of the series.