The author disappears and the super-charged action and characters take over sweeping the reader into an adrenaline-high experience. The military action, the pheromone charged aura around Crazy Tim Maloney and Lola LaRue, and the interaction among the crew members of the night stalkers helicopters, Viper and Vengeance make Take Over at Midnight a page turning adventure.
If you’ve read other night stalker novels, you will recognize some of the characters, but Take Over at Midnight stands alone perfectly. It is Tim and Lola’s story that evolves among all the scary missions and close calls that make the heart jump up into the throat.
The reader is dumped into the secret, serious, scary military actions of SOAR (Special Operations Air Rescue) where these high-voltage characters with their special helicopters armed with lethal guns and rockets prowl the night sky taking to and bringing back Army Rangers and Delta Force personnel on clandestine missions.
Chief Warrant Lola LaRue is new. She’s the fourth woman to qualify for SOAR and will co-pilot with Major Emily Beale, ace pilot for Vengeance, the companion to Viper flown by her husband Major Mark Henderson. Deep-down Lola feels like a fraud in this elite group, but she worked damned hard to get here and sets her sights on staying even if Crew Chief Kee Stevenson, once a tough street kid, does call her a fraud (it takes one to know one). Lola knows 9/11 changed her life as if she were reborn that day.
When Crew Chief Tim Maloney sees the Creole beauty with the thick, dark chestnut hair, and legs that go on forever, he is a goner. The fact that she is an officer and he is not doesn’t deter him or her. The reader gets to see the blooming of a love that is long-suffering and patient when fears of self-worth lobs in obstacles. But love wiggles its way through and sizzling, super-charged emotional and physical energy create breathtaking love scenes.
M. L. Buchman makes the military action, the urgency of the missions, and the locations so real the reader can almost taste the dust of the salt pan in Afghanistan and feel the blazing heat that sucks the moisture out of the body. The moments when success or failure hangs in the balance and kill or be killed action demands the best efforts of the best, the adrenaline pumps at breakneck speed and sends the heart racing. Whether in the Middle East or in the Gulf of Mexico (Lola’s old hunting ground) the action is always on the edge. In the Gulf of Mexico, the line where war ends and murder begins is compelling.
The scenes in Washing D. C. reveal different facets of these mighty night stalkers called “Black Adders”. Tim’s back story and his family, the President, his strategies, and his unceasing verbal battles to keep the country safe add depth to the humanness of the SOAR team. Seriousness and humor twine through events that give the reader food for thought. Amid it all, one learns that the real motivation for all the characters, from President to the new co-pilot Lola, is to keep the U.S.A. safe.
M. L. Buchman’s writing is so realistic that one almost forgets it’s fiction. The imagery, the ‘so-human’ characters, the events so like the latest news, and the magnificence of people when they rise to be their best for a cause they are willing to die for make Take Over at Midnight riveting.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. 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.