Morrow. (Black Box Thriller, Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063238831. $30. THRILLER
DEBUT Former Navy SEAL Adeleke carves out a spot in the crowded thriller genre with this electrifying debut. Elite and clandestine CIA Black Box units consist of “Chameleons,” tactical operatives trained to create mission-defined characters; “Ghosts,” skilled at surveillance and burglary; and “Wind,” pilots and drivers who can operate and repair any vehicle that moves. When ruthless South African ex-commando Lucas DeGroot begins kidnapping high-profile hostages around the world, personally tormented Nigerian-born Chameleon Kali Kent and his close-knit unit are ordered to track down DeGroot, neutralize his mercenary army, and free the hostages. Clean and well-plotted with smoothly paced chapters, the story is sharp and fast-moving, but readers may balk initially at the continual barrage of gun-brand names and munition details. There is little character development, but the focused action more than compensates as the tale reaches a satisfying and unexpected ending.
VERDICT A good beach or vacation read that will have readers rooting for another book in the “Black Box” series. Perfect for Jack Carr, Mark Greaney, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan fans.
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