by Kirk Russell
One of the best Kindle First books I’ve read in a while
Signature Wounds by Kirk Russell is told mostly from Paul Grale’s point of view. He’s an FBI bomb expert who’s survived injury and personal loss while remaining loyal to the FBI and his own ideals. A few chapters are told from the POV of Jeremy Beatty, a veteran at war with PTSD, his own personal demons, and an unswerving moral compass.
In this gritty, personal narrative, Grale must traverse the minefield of drug cartels, terrorists, and FBI bosses while solving a bombing that killed most of his family. There’s a lot of detective work, and Grale doesn’t make this look easy; there’s no paint-by-numbers magical solution.
If you like Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, etc.) or the like, you will enjoy Signature Wounds. There is a decent amount of the F-word, but only what rings true for the characters and situations; it does not feel gratuitous. There is no explicit sex, and the violence, while present, never crosses the line into sadistic over-description. While some of the bad guys are Muslim, some are Mexican drug cartel, and some are American geeks. There is no one group demonized as uber-evil, and no one group is totally innocent.
In Signature Wounds much of the action is cerebral and narrative, and the author makes that work in such a way that you are pulled into the action, agonizing over clues and missed opportunities and rooting for the good guys.
An enjoyable read. I’ll definitely be reading more books by this author.
While in Las Vegas on his way to a family Fourth of July celebration, FBI bomb expert Paul Grale hears a deep blast and sees the smoke rising. In an unfolding nightmare, Grale discovers his sister, brother-in-law, and many friends were caught up in the explosion. Grief stricken, he is pulled from the main bomb investigation to sift orphan leads. Quietly he begins a relentless search for the bomb maker.
When the FBI suspects his friend and disgruntled former drone pilot for the blast, Grale thinks they’re getting it all wrong. Propelled by deep personal loss and an intense need to do the right thing, he picks his way through the smallest of leads and into a maze of twists, turns, and sudden dead ends. When he uncovers another threat, time is already quickly running out. With the lives of so many at stake, Grale won’t let himself fail—and he won’t rest until there’s justice for his family.
Adrenalized, gripping, and all too timely, Signature Wounds brings terror to Vegas and introduces FBI special agent and bomb tech Paul Grale, a man whose specialized skill and fierce determination are a lethal combination.