Invisible Wounds: Dustin Beutin
A woman officer is brutally raped and the incident is quietly and quickly covered up. When Special Agent Morgan Huntley goes after the officer responsible for raping the young women he is taken off active duty, arrested and punished. The young man in question comes from a connected family and Detective Morgan Huntley is forced to take action into his own hands. But, arresting the rapist only brings him more grief and eventually he learns the meaning of power. But, something serious is going on in Afghanistan and approached by the higher brass he is asked to go undercover to unravel what happens when ex-army Special Forces men reenter the Afghan desert to create a drug cartel. Taking the challenge and wanting to find out who are behind this criminal organization stems from the fact that his friend has been kidnapped when investigating the murder of two men within a Nato command facility in Kabul, Afghanistan. Entering into this he is paired with several men and is using the cover that he is hoping to buy opium from the villagers to be used in America by the DEA.
Morgan Huntley decides to go undercover to find his friend who has been kidnapped. Linking up with a man named James Poole, his contact Stan who knows about his mission, Morgan has no idea what he is in for and who can be trusted. Two soldiers within NATO command are dead, His friend’s disappearance is questionable and the end result takes him deep inside the cartel, the cover-ups, deceits and lies he has been told as he enters into an alliance with the same men he is sent to find hoping to come out alive. Imagine being hooked up with retired U.S. Army personnel who are pretending to be defense contractors but in reality are working the Afghans to sell opium, create heroine and make more than just a simple profit. Volunteering to do this job just might cost him his life. Dealing with the kidnappers and finding out the truth behind their operation will put others in danger. Posing as a civilian contractor and hoping to learn more about this cartel, Morgan widens his net of allies, thinks he can handle the situation, befriends someone from his past but in reality might seal his fate. With a friend of his ex-wife helping him in his investigation, the men who are pretending to be contractors bringing him into the fold, Morgan needs to race the clock learn more about the network that has been developed, report back to his superiors and pray he gets out alive.
Claiming the villagers were free to govern themselves or to end their relationship, Morgan learns what is really being offered and gets a first hand description of the operation. Superior services, getting their cut, not abusing their women and claiming they are free to do as they wish, just what is the truth, who are these business partners what is the real end result? Vitters, Greer, Farrat, and Griggs are just part of the retired army special forces that have created the drug cartel, learned how to make heroin and claimed that is was sued for doctors to find better ways of delivering pain relief. The CIA has civilian oversight but this group was to remain invisible, unseen with free access to money. Uncontrolled money with uncontrolled freedom! Just where does he fit in and what about Victoria Solano? As the enemy comes to light and one member of the team is disposed of and Morgan thinks he is home free the twist at the end will allow readers to know that the author has many more lessons for him to learn and that what seems on the surface to be real is an illusion.
Morgan is smart yet not smart enough to outfox and outwit what these men have in store for him. As his contact is hit, critically wounded, another is found out and the chain of events that started out turns in many different dangerous directions, Chief Thompson realizes that he is facing more than just a court martial for his part in the cover-up. Another paid men to take out Kzaltry, the one person that Morgan thought he could trust. As the plot became apparent, and the truth behind the actions of another Colonel came to light, a Special Agent was assigned before Morgan and Victoria’s fates were sealed.
Kidnapped by the very men who he thought he could trust. Victoria forced to deal with the sick and administer her services to those in the village, can Morgan escape, get help and stop what the cartel has planned. The final scenes are explosive as Morgan treks the mountains, hills, caves and trails hoping to find safety, not facing his captors again.
Within this novel you hear many voices. That of the members of the cartel justifying why they created their network, explaining that their only hope for survival was living in this dangerous country, working with the villagers and living a life they felt that would make them rich and valuable within themselves. Telling of how one of their members could not deal with the realities of coming home they used this as an excuse to salvage themselves. Morgan just wants to find out who killed his friends and the two other men found dead. Proving himself seems paramount and risking it the entire ultimate price. Victoria Solano works for the state department and got caught up in this web of lies and deceit but can she survive the end result?
Some endings bring solutions but this one is so unexpected, so well crafted and allows readers to wonder to what lengths the army and government will go to protect its own. Cover-ups, lies, betrayals and one final deceit sends Morgan in a direction you just won’t expect. What happens to the cartel? Invisible Wounds: A country riddled with pain, fear and inner turmoil so terrifying that they cannot often be seen or realized. A young man fighting his way into the limelight, angered at what happened to a young woman whose life changed because no one would punish her rapist. Invisible Wounds: Whose will be healed?
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ magazine