Monday, June 24, 2013

Commando: Operation Arrowhead - Jack Badelaire

Last year I read Jack Badelaire's excellent debut novel KILLER INSTINCTS. It's taken me far too long to get around to his World War II series, but I've finally read the first novel in that one and thoroughly enjoyed it.

British soldier Thomas Lynch is the grandfather of the protagonist in KILLER INSTINCTS, but you don't have to have read the earlier book to enjoy this one at all. It's early 1941, and having gone through the humiliation of Dunkirk, Lynch is eager to get back to fighting the Germans. The quickest way is by volunteering for one of the newly formed commando units. Lynch's squad, designated 3 Commando, is landed secretly in occupied France to join up with a French resistance group and help them break the German hold on a small coastal town.

Once the commandos' boots are on French soil, it's well-written action nearly all the way, with just enough black humor and characterization interspersed for punctuation. The violence is pretty graphic, but other than that COMMANDO: OPERATION ARROWHEAD reminds me very much of a gritty, black-and-white Sixties TV series such as COMBAT!, one of my all-time favorites. While Thomas Lynch is the hero, several of the members of the commando squad take the spotlight at times, and they're all fine characters as well. Badelaire's pacing is also excellent. This is one of the fastest-moving books I've read recently. There's enough detail to give the story a strong sense of historical accuracy but never enough to bog it down.

The second novel in the series, as well as a prequel short story, are also available. I already have them on my Kindle and hope to read them soon. If you're a fan of World War II fiction, I highly recommend COMMANDO: OPERATION ARROWHEAD


1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, I much enjoyed this one and reviewed it on goodreads and Amazon. I will get around to the second pretty soon. I didn't know about th e short story.