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Hunt the Fox
Series: SEAL Team Six #5)
Fifth in the SEAL Team Six military thriller series and revolving around a team of SEALs. The action is focused on Syria. This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Mulholland Books in exchange for an honest review.
If you’re looking for black ops action and prefer a straight forward approach without an emotional pull, Hunt the Fox will suit you to a T. All the reviews I’ve peeked in on claim that the SEAL Team Six series is a very realistic military operation, and it does indeed read that way.
Unfortunately, it needs more than info dumps and tell to become a good story. I only got a quarter of the way through Hunt the Fox because Mann/Pezzullo drove me nuts with all the tell. It reads more like a screenplay with directions for the characters. I want emotions. I want to feel the fear, taste the air, the food. I want to feel as though I’m there, and Hunt the Fox is too detached to pull me in.
No, it’s not that I don’t like military stories. I do. I love ’em. But I also want to “be there”.
One wooden-sounding example:
“Anders shook his head as if he couldn’t quite comprehend. ‘What the hell are you saying? This is awful. Who attacked him?'”
This is as emotional as it gets, and I’m sorry, this isn’t good enough. It could be that Mann/Pezzullo’s intended audience is strictly male who aren’t interested in the emotional pull I want to fall into, and that’s fine. It’s just not for me.
Jared makes a good point, wondering if the military are really “mercenaries hired to protect the interests of Wall Street and the corporations”. I know I agree with this.
A ruthless terrorist intends revenge and has an explosive plan that will tear across the Middle East. It’s up to SEAL Team Six to stop them.
I have only noted the characters mentioned in the first 25% of the story.
SEAL Team Six includes…
…assigned to the CIA and subject to agency protocol. Chief Warrant Officer Tom Crocker is the leader of Black Cell, a special unit of SEAL Team Six, a.k.a., DEVGRU). His alias at the moment is as John Wallace, a security consultant. Joe “Manny” Mancini is Crocker’s right-hand man and the weapons, logistics, and tech expert. John Davis is the comms expert with an unexpected interest in aliens. Suarez is the explosives specialist. Cal is their sniper. Captain Sutter is the commander of SEAL Team Six. Akil is a colleague with Egyptian language skills.
Holly Crocker is Tom’s contradictory wife threatening to leave him. She works as a security threat analyst for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Jenny is his daughter; Brian is her son. Lena is a colleague and rowing partner in Washington D.C. Randi is the blonde who was with Akil.
Dr. Stephanie Mathews is the couples therapist the Crockers were seeing. She was recommended by Dr. Petrovia the ST-6 psychologist. Leslie Ames was the friend of Crocker’s daughter and Joe’s brother, Paul, who were killed in Hunt the Jackal, 4.
Jared Olafsen, a.k.a., Mr. Munoz, is a young CIA operative who speaks fluent Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Jim Anders is Deputy Director of Operations and Grissom’s boss. Janice Bloom is a targeter and analyst for the Syrian account. Scorpions are CIA private security personnel. Taylor Grissom is a station chief in Ankara. Katie works for Grissom. Hassan is a twenty-two-year-old Syrian engineering student.
John J. Smith is the alias for a CIA officer on Skhin Firebase on the Afghan-Pakistani border. He’s now running a private executive protection and recovery company.
Manshir Talab is a source for the CIA and an old schoolmate of President Bashir al-Assad; Fatima is his secretary. Hamid was Talab’s younger brother.
Colonel Ozgun “Oz” Ozmert is a section leader with Turkish Military Intelligence. Inspector Evren is one of his assistants. Mr. Asami is the director of Intelligence for Idlib province. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the current prime minister, an Islamist intent on restoring a religious government.
The Assad family is said to be mentally ill. Don’t cross them! Fawwaz is the president’s cousin and founded the Shabiha, death squads. The Mukhabarat is military intelligence. Major General Qassem Suleimani leads the Quds Force.
The Quwat al-Difa al-Watani was…
…formed of Assad loyalists in 2012 with massive defections from military forces.
The Fox leads an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) faction and wants to raise their profile.
The Cover and Title
The background for the cover is a radiating gradation of yellow to a brownish orange with a very realistic soldier aiming his weapon and fully loaded for war. The series name is large, centered, and in white. The title is a medium gray in a smaller font with the authors’ names in yellow at the bottom of the cover.
The title is the action plan for the team: Hunt the Fox and prevent him from blowing up the world.