Peter Kirsanow,
Target Omega
(Dutton, 2017)

Target Omega opens with a solid action sequence. Michael Garin, the enigmatic, highly skilled leader of a top secret unit that takes out weapons of mass destruction facilities in foreign countries, is in Iraq with his crew leading an attack on one of that country's WMD units. Garin and his men colorfully, vividly and violently kill dozens of men and successfully blow up the cave.

Then when they get home, someone begins killing off his crew. Garin is the only survivor and the main suspect; he determines to find out who killed his men and why. His motive is not so much to get at the truth but to avenge the deaths. He intends to track down and kill everyone responsible.

At the same time, however, an international plot is developing; the Russians are helping the Iranians in a project that will rain destruction on Israel -- and, we discover, the United States. Obviously, the secret Russian-Iranian plan has something to do with the attack on Garin's crew. As he tries to elude the FBI, the CIA, the Iranian hit team and the top gun Delta Force assassin, who is operating in opposition to the rules that say Delta Force cannot assassinate people on U.S. soil, Garin fights to stay alive, solve the problem and avenge the deaths of his men.

Target Omega is obviously not a subtle book; the body count is staggering. When Garin encounters the bad guys, the villains always travel in packs. He takes on up to a dozen or so at a time and his killings are glowingly, vividly described in great detail. People don't simply die. Blood and body parts fly, veins pop and shoot blood -- Kirsanow loves to focus in closely on the killings. His characters are experts at slicing, dicing and shooting. In fact, they almost reach the level of comic books.

Speaking of characters, Kirsanow's are paper thin; he characterizes by tagging each character: Garin is quiet, self-contained, the woman he joins forces with is tall, stunningly beautiful and intelligent. The Russian villain loves good cigars and fine whiskey. If you're looking for depth of characterization, you won't find it.

But if you're looking for a fast moving, action-filled page-turner that one you get sucked into its contents, you'll have a hard time putting down, Target Omega is for you.

book review by
Michael Scott Cain

11 November 2017

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