Sunday, September 24, 2017

Book Review: 'Burke's War' by William F. Brown

Florida author William F. Brown has penned nine suspense novels and four award-winning screenplays. His specialty is thriller stories that step into the arena of espionage – a very popular topic at this particular time. William is a native of Chicago, received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of Illinois, and served as a Company Commander in the US Army. He then raveled widely in the US and abroad as a Vice President of the real estate subsidiary of a Fortune 500 corporation. William is also a landscape artist.

Having read Books 2 and 3 of this trilogy it is especially fascinating to return to the opening volume of Book 1 – BURKE’S WAR. Brown defines his new character well - Bob Burke is a former sniper, Army Ranger, and Delta Force commander. And as a prelude we learn, ’As Bob Burke’s 737 lands at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, he sees a man strangling a woman on a rooftop below. No one believes him, of course, but he knows what he saw, and Bob Burke isn’t the kind of guy to let a thing like that rest. Slight of build and now a telecommunications company executive, this “telephone guy’ is a former Army Ranger and Delta Force commander. He spent four tours in Iraq and the rugged mountains of Afghanistan running ‘special operations’ missions, and is one of the most lethal killers the US government ever produced. Over the next three days, he finds himself butting heads with the Chicago mob, crooked suburban cops, a zealous US Attorney, a psychopathic doctor, and his own vindictive soon-to-be-ex-wife, who is trying to take his company away from him. As his big, muscular, Delta sergeants will readily admit, he’s the one you don’t want to meet in a dark alley. Whether he’s carrying a Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle, a knife, or only his bare hands, he is equally lethal. So, when the bodies start falling and a young woman needs help, he doesn’t hesitate. His new combat zones might be in a glittering high-rise office building, a tract house in a suburban subdivision, or a wooded Chicago Forest Preserve District, but they started it and Bob Burke intends to finish it. And when he needs some backup, he knows just the guys to call.’

Brown’s writing style is commensurate with the flavor of his thrillers – ‘Over the years, Bob Burke had watched a lot of people die. He probably even killed more than his share; but that was during two wars, and this wasn’t Iraq or Afghanistan. He was flying in a 767 over suburban Chicago, and for a second he forgot where he was. He unbuckled his seat belt, stood, and shouted, “My God, that guy’s killing her,” and pointed out the window.’ And on it goes

Few writers today match Will’s style with thriller on a contemporary stage. He never lets us down, and this book is especially strong as an opener for a new suspense thriller! Grady Harp, August 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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