Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rogue Warrior: Domino Theory by Richard Marcinko and Jim DeFelice

Richard Marcinko and his fellow Red Cell Warriors have been called to India to protect the Commonwealth Games, a sports contest that is like the Olympics for countries who were once part of the British Empire. Now the Muslims in Pakistan seem to be lashing out against India, hoping to disrupt the games, and Red Cell is called in to try and stop whatever mischief the terrorists plan against the games.

Dick Marcinko is working with India's own special forces, who have been working not only on training, but on establishing their own versions of assault helicopters and transports, based on those used by the Americans and the Soviets. But the raid on the Madrassa results in only two captures of agents/students there, but before they can be fully debriefed, or even questioned, the two men escape. Following a bug put on the escaped agents leads them to a very run-down part of India, and a kid who stole the shirt that the bug was placed on from a boat near the water. Marcinko and his men try to find the escaped terrorists, but they have no luck. They are gone.

They do eventually manage to track down the boat, but the men are gone, and no one in the village where the boat was abandoned seems to know anything about the men or what they were doing, or will admit to it, anyway. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Games are about to start, and Trace is undercover in the women's Scottish field hockey team, and Doc is undercover as the team Doctor, and as they work to understand what exactly is going on, and what the terrorists are doing, they find out it is possible that their employers and supposed allies are up to something underhanded, using the Commonwealth Games as a cover, just as the terrorists are doing.

But can Dick Marcinko and his team unravel both plots and bring them to ruination, avoiding being blamed for the theft of Indian Nukes and preventing the death of near-millions at the games, and bring the ones behind both plots to doom? Dick's not alone in this one, and his son will be equally at risk when he tries to do his Dad one better and goes off alone into India to try and winkle out members of the terrorist cell. But, cut off on his own, will he be able to do as well as his Dad, or will he screw the pooch without help? And can everyone make it out of the pressure cooker alive?

I read Richard Marcinko's autobiography of his time in the SEALS, and I was pretty impressed. Yeah, he doesn't like the pussyfooting around that the current armed forces seem to be doing at the present, and he left the SEALS with some bad feelings on both sides, him towards his superiors and theirs towards him. But he's capable of writing a nice, gritty adventure story that seems realistic, even if he does tend towards the satisfying macho fantasy end a great deal (him screwing over Kim Jong Il in one of his books was sheer feel-good fantasy, but it fit in with the tone of the book.

This book takes place in India, a place a lot of writers seem to ignore when it comes to men's adventure (as they used to call it). But India has a large Muslim population, and is right next to Pakistan, where the Taliban is mostly located, so it's in a perfect position to be primed for a terrorist incident. And Marcinko takes advantage of all of this in spades. And while it turns out that not all Indian officials are on the side of the angels, so to speak, he weaves a wonderful tale that brings mental images of India and turns them into very real, living places in the book

I found the story interesting and compelling, and the backgrounds made India and its people come alive. Anyone looking for a good, old-fashioned beatdown on terrorists in book form should look no further than this book. It brings the goods and brings them hard and right. Recommended.

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