A compulsive page-turner to the very end…
Rafkin delivers a politically complex and pulse-pounding page-turner to kick-start his action thriller series, featuring the highly trained and experienced security operative Ben Alexander and computer genius Nickolas Zelenko. Ben and Nickolas are busy with the expansion of their newly formed bleeding-edge security firm COMSEC, when things suddenly become dangerous: their investigation into a simple case of insurance fraud throws the duo in the path of the dangerous mafia. The stakes rise when the pair uncover the gang’s vast criminal operation, including organ smuggling, human trafficking, and brutal killings. With their squad of dedicated security experts, including a team of former Navy SEALs and Special Ops soldiers by their side and the most advanced AI, EVE, on their command, the duo set out to catch the criminals. The tense, tightly plotted story is stuffed to the brim with action, intrigue, romance, splendid AI tech, and multidimensional characters. Rafkin perfectly balances character development with action and uses shifts in point of view (Ben’s first-person narrative and third-person omniscient voice) to keep the large cast intimate, creating great characters who are easy to root for. Ben brims with sharp insight and self-confidence. Alison is a tough and likable character, and Nicholas is equally compelling. Ben and Alison are in love but hunting down bad guys keeps both too busy for a meaningful relationship. That equation changes after Alison’s close call with death though. EVE shines through and through. The Navy Seals and Special Ops soldiers in Ben’s team are rare killers with a heart: they take honest and worthy assignments and do them right. It’s satisfying to witness this larger-than-life team put their extraordinary skills to good use as they take out the bad guys. Meanwhile, Robert Dillard and his brother are thorough crooks, but the star of the filth is Dragunov, the Russian player in the game, who is involved in all kinds of criminal endeavors, including human and organ trafficking. The action is almost nonstop, with nice twists right to the end, and there is enough bloodshed to pour into two thrillers. Small doses of humor keep the things light, and Rafkin does a good job keeping several disparate plot threads together. The strong characterization, excellent world-building, international intrigue, advanced technological ideas, and high action will have readers anxious for the planned sequels. Lovers of fast-paced, high action thrillers are in for a treat.
Global Vice: A COMSEC Thriller
Andrew J. Rafkin
Pub date February 18, 2022
Price $21.95 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition