Eye for an Eye by Ben Coes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fates hate Dewey Andreas. Whenever Andreas has something good going on in his life, Fate seems ready to rain on his parade. One Tough Man showed the world, what one-pissed off Delta out for revenge is capable of. Coup D'Etat was more of the same.
In these two books, while Andreas was always a mean son of a bitch he was also slowly mellowing down from his always angry, always drunk redneck attitude. The reason for that mellowing was Jessica Tanzer. Parallely introduced along with Andrews in Book#1 she has been a bigger part of the reason why Andreas was returning slowing to the civilization after spending a decade as a loner out in the woods after the death of his son and the suicide of his wife.
Andreas’s life changed with his increasing interactions with Tanzer, while he will always be the rough, kick ass Delta; the self-destructive and suicidal behavior was a thing of the past. With life looking up for him in the form of Tanzer, Andreas slowed a bit, he got more used to planning things, asking for help from others and slowly being ready to work as a part of the team as we saw in Book#3 which enabled the rescue of Kohl Meir and the recovery of Iranian nuke.
Andreas also exposed the mole within Mossad who is then killed brutally by Meir as Book#3 ended. Retaliation was always expected, when it did I was expecting it to come from the Iranians. Coes outdid himself when he introduced a new albeit the most ruthless and malevolent villains in the form of Fao Bhang.
Operating with impunity from the shadowy corridors of power within Beijing, Bhang has a personal vendetta against Andreas. The Mossad mole was somebody who Bhang owed his position and power to and his death was a direct insult to the powerful chief of the Ministry of Secret Service (MSS). Bhang wanted Andreas dead at any cost. A kill team is readied to take him out and Tanzer gets caught in the crossfire.
Andreas loses somebody important from his life again. This time right in his arms and he his pissed. He is beyond pissed. Learning of the role played by Calibrisi and his co-horts in drawing out Bhang, Andreas loses his composure and breaks off from them.
Never piss a Delta to the point where he doesn’t care what happens to him, coz you can never plan for what he will do, Andreas in a daring and unimagined move, kills Bhangs half-brother inside China. While CIA and MI6 tries to catch up to Andreas and protect him, Bhangs blood is up at the death of his brother. A TEP order for Andreas is issued internationally by the MSS and it is open season on Andreas. With personal recognition and the highest possible service award at stake, the Chinese operatives are ready to take unparallel risk to eliminate Andreas.
What follows is a no hold barred, only one will survive fight between Andreas and the entire might commanded by the MSS. With even his family is targeted for extermination, only the quick thinking actions of his 13-year old nephew who fortunately was in the right place, at the right time with the right weapon to save the Andreas family from being killed outright. [Spoiler Alert!!] Plots and counter plots within Chinese politburo played by Bhang against the Chinese Premier Li and Li’s counter strategy gains Andreas an unlikely ally when he targets Bhang inside China and exterminates him with extreme prejudice. [End Alert!!]
Eye for an Eye is an entertainer. It is rare among the thriller books that character development takes place for any character other than the lead character. But Coes manages to develop important characters like Hector Calibrisi, Rob Tacoma, President Denenbach amongst other. Interspersed with action are real nuggets of spying and sleuthing when the team formed to find Andreas turns over the smallest rock to get a clue.
In conclusion, Eye of an Eye is an emotional journey for Andreas. Book#3 saw him take on unparallel odds in debt of a friend, this one sees him take on the might of any entire country to avenge his love. At the end of the book Andreas is at a crossroads, he straining under emotional loads with nobody to talk to, Tanzer was his safety valve, his release outlet, now she’s gone he has to start all over again and his enemies are still around. Let’s not forget Abu Paria or even Mahmoud Nava from Book#3. It is clear that they will not forget Andreas saving Meir and taking their nuke from them so easily.
Book#5 will be a cracker IMO as it will have Andreas emotionally unstable and the world which needs saving.