Recall: David McCaleb
Creating a new life for himself “Red” Harmon has put the past aside and cannot reflect or remember who or what he did before marrying Lori. Three children strapped in the back seat of his car as three men attempt to mug him and take his wallet, this man puts on a commando act that would reflect the prowess and ability of ten men on any Swat Team. Walking back to their mini van in the Walmart parking lot, no one in sight he assists his wife with loading their purchases into the rear of the car. But, three men, gang members approached to wrong guy as in quick hand movements and three seconds he kills two of the robbers and puts the other one in the hospital. Taking the robber’s gun and going to shoot him, his wife screams and the person he turned into leaves and the read “Red” is now in control. But, as frightening as this is the really surreal part is when confronted the following day by the police or questioned by anyone else, his recall of the incident is zero. Memory aside the security videos at the store recorded it all and when it goes viral things spiral out of control. Out of the blue comes an old army buddy who comes to see him and hopes to just catch up until this happens when he appears again. As a former member of an elite military group he has undergone some unusual experiments dealing with drug enhancements that would create a superhuman fighter. However, when the program was terminated he changed and his realities became different as the brainwashing you might call it disappeared and his long-term memory about what he had undergone was no longer there. His old commanding officer arrives to catch up and even though they have not seen each other for many years it strikes an unusual chord or note that he came after this incident. Dealing with Detective Carter he has a sympathetic and understanding ear but when the video goes viral and the incident is made public things change. Waking up the next day he realizes that he is no longer in his bed and his wife and family are gone. Where is Lori and where are his children? His children are in the hospital and his wife has been kidnapped but where has she been taken and why? As a member of the DET team a Special Forces team the goal is that the kidnappers learn which countries belong to this group that has been terminated or the prisoners namely Lori will be eliminated. Being a member of this highly hidden, secret and classified group placed his family in danger but as Captain he remembers things one way but in his inner thoughts or dreams another learning that Lori is in Iran but who or why?
Red’s, commander comes to get him while the police are at his house, but Red demands the detective investigating his wife’s kidnapping comes with them. Come to find out, the detective Carter, was an interrogator while in the military, and becomes a part of the team to rescue his wife. However, before the mission can begin, Red’s memories have to be recalled.
The team heads to Iran to infiltrate the enemy camp, and complete the mission. Along the way, Red discovers secrets about his wife. My favorite statement in the story was when Lori told Red “I’m not the one who went ape-shit at Wal-Mart and blew your cover.” Red becomes the leader of the Det team, after a tragedy, at the end of the story and vows to keep the team together. His reentry is just beginning as he meets some of his old team members is given drugs and hopefully he will have total RECALL of who he was and what he is capable of as we hear Lori’s voice held within the confines of a coffin, almost like she is air lifted buried alive and trying to deal with her plight yet using her intelligence and insight to figure out where she is and why.
Listening to Colonel Jim Mayard as he takes Red through his new paces and then we learn more about Lori and where she might be, as the plot gets more complex and the danger heart stopping. Carter is a great character and the fact the Red insisted that he goes along with him is quite interesting and learning that he had training as a soldier provides more credibility to his being there and working along side Red and the team. This so called building manager’s hidden past is about to come to light even more as the situations become tense as they go in search of Lori and who knocked her out while they were sleeping and why did they take only her?
The author creates some tense scenes as he shares the mission with readers from the moment each member of the team gets his gear, his weapons and enters the hangar where their plane is waiting for them with a rather blunt but experienced pilot. Learning from Mossad Intel that Lori might be held in a warehouse in Iran, they hope that they will be able to get her out in the cover of darkness. But his team made up of Jim, Red, Marksman, Carter and the rest are quite colorful to say the least as Lori is taken out of the coffin and placed on a metal chair and locked in a warehouse but not before the kidnappers quarrel about her treatment. Learning about the different intelligence and where and how they found where she might be, Red learns more about the mission, the fact that he will be parachuted down and hopefully land in one piece. But, not everything works the way you want it so the author leaves room for some heart stopping scenes before the final ones come into play.
As the mission gets more underway reflections of the past come to light and then explanations of how they are going to try to get Lori back again allows readers to learn just how dangerous the mission is and what happens when his drag chute does not operate correctly and he winds up in a river in Iran sinking to the bottom and blacked out. Imagine as each man falls from the sky you might say single file and hopefully he will awaken before it’s too late as everything depends on everyone.
What follows is right out of a Mission Impossible episode or CSI as the team of Carter, Marksman, Red, Gunny and the rest enter the warehouse after falling into the water, dealing with the stunning cold and hoping that they will find Lori but instead they have been marked and betrayed by one of their own. What follows will make you wonder just who Lori really is and how she manages to take down her captor as he stands behind her with a gun, her hands handcuffed, her body limp and Red and his men thinking they might have lost when she takes this guy down and what happens next makes her equal to any female superhero. When the tables are turned and Amin understands that he’s dealing with this unusual team what Carter does might make many readers cringe and for the feint of heart skip over the gory and vivid details as the Colonel in charge ordered them to continue when they were going to pull out and they are not done yet. Getting out and finding whom the traitor or traitors are won’t be easy but they have to get out and hopefully Carter’s plan will work.
Creating an ending that will keep you riveted to the printed page as the escape is very tenuous to say the least and the players witness the death of one of their own. The pilot can not longer fly the aircraft and the person who takes over will shock readers as you would never expect the secrets that this person had hidden from her own family. As the situation becomes tenser and the plane just might not land the shots are fired and the bodies fall but who will be left standing and who will pay the ultimate price? As Lori has to find a way to get out of the coffin and when she does the scene will blow your mind as the truth behind who she really is and does comes to light and Red and the team have to deal with it but can he? Weapons of the highest magnitude, as Carter, Marksman, Red and Crawler battle it out in surroundings that place them in danger as their plane might go down, the call to abort denied and the lives of many at stake. Author David McCaleb leaves readers breathless until the very end.
An ending so explosive and so technical you won’t see it coming as Red and his team take down the kidnappers and prove that they are not to be taken lightly as Carter makes his point to one that he won’t forget. Hopefully the author will continue with this cast of characters and bring Lori into the fold in a more active role as things turn sinister and the end is quite near but will they manage to get her out safely and what is the reason behind the kidnapping and how is it related to Iran’s nuclear potential? There are many reasons that we still fear that this could happen but only Red and his team will help stop them especially now that he has total RECALL!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine