The Lethal Fisherman: JJ Burke
Memories can haunt you and leave you wondering if your present can be enough to erase your past. Jon Morton is now working on a commercial fishing boat that he bought after spending six years as a covert operative going after drug dealers, human traffickers and more. The author introduces him and his crew at the start and then leads us back to the mission that would change his life as he is instructed to lead three teams and their team leaders to rescue several missionaries captured and tortured whose organization someone called El Tiger runs. The author recreates the mission from start to finish as we learn the ins and outs of how these missions are planned from it inception, to the flight, insertion, battle, rescue and exiting out. The descriptions are so vivid and you hear the inner most thoughts of Jon and each team leader as they plan, plot and take out the guards, rescue the prisoners but wonder what happened to the leader. Is he alive or is he going to come after him in the future as we learn more about his fishing business and then something happens and his memories come back and he is now knee deep in trying to unravel the mystery of how a body was found floating in the water near his boat. A retire special forces vet that has given up the dangerous life does not realize that this would trigger nightmares from his missions from the past and hiding it from those in the present. Finding he wanting to know more about the person he helped bring out of the water and reporting it to the proper authorities, he is dragged into the investigation by the head of the coast guard and becomes embroiled to learn more as something else happens that rekindles his alertness. A quiet life is what he wants but that will not come yet as he is now on the alert, must hone in on his military battle skills as he and his crew of three loyal men try to find solace in a simple hardworking life that will never be the same. Meeting with the daughter of the man found dead and her lawyer starts it off but not before finding a dead mackerel on the deck of his boat.
Meeting the daughter of the man that is dead and her lawyer sets Jon off on a tangent thinking that maybe he might have more of a relationship with her and offering to allow her to stay in his home if no other lodgings are available might be a great first step. Knowing that someone might be watching him and after him charges his old covert op skills to hone in and the end result he might have to resort to using them. Someone wants revenge. Could it be someone who worked with him when a marine? What about the crew that disappeared from the vessel that Sheri’s father operated?
As Sheri arrived at his place Jon flashed back to a time when his crew came to stay with him and one related about a new business he just created and hoped they would all come in with him but the past would stay there for a while as he and Sheri would have dinner with two of his friends. But, the tension will mount, as the flashback ends letting readers know that Jon has something to hide from us and anyone that would bring his past to the present.
El Tigre was once called Juan Ignacio de Verona and was smart, lethal and deadly. When growing up he formed his own gangs, made sure to deal with anyone that tried to steal from him and then finalized the terror his mother and sister received at the hand of their abusive father by taking him out of the equation forever. His method of torture is not for the faint of heart to read but later on his ways became even more deadly. When Arlene the lawyer for Sheri Kreitzer receives an unusual phone call to provide information about Jon Morton, his address, business and important current information about him, why would she take the bait for one million dollars for each piece of information she provided? No red flags went up and the end result was found in the restroom of an airport. Flashing back even more we meet his mother Carlotta and her daughter Estrellita who Juan will provide for monetarily and make sure they are safe. But, in the back of his mind the incident from the past where Jon took down his men would come to the forefront sooner than anyone can expect. Revenge is his game but making sure his family is fine but having no physical contact with them at all. A chest of wealth was given to the mother and what she uncovered there would ease their pain and hopefully allow her to send her daughter to America for a better life. But, an incident in a restaurant would change their lives as some thieves went after Alan’s wife and Carlotta manages to defuse them and the end result was he would help her in any way he can. But, when you meet Carlotta as a housekeeper who learn the origin or about the births of her children leading her to live a life that most parents would not but in order to survive she did what needed to be done. Carlotta and her daughter go to Bogota and stay at a good hotel but the streets are dangerous and Xavier the man, who owns the restaurant where they would dine, assigned his nephew to drive them for a fee. Even with the chauffeur they still encountered danger and it brings us back to the present.
El Tiger is dangerous and will stop at nothing until he takes Jon down. But, dinner with friends and with Sheri proves dangerous as someone is following them from the restaurant. Added in her car was tampered with and if he did not think fast or realize that someone was wrong they would have been blown to smatterings. Both the past and the present will come together but first Jon warns Carlos to be on the look out for someone might come after him too as well as Tiny and Mik.
Realizing that Sheri is in danger he sends her home with instructions to follow to the letter of the law as he leaves her alone in the middle of the night. Heading for his boat with Carlos watching his back he decides to go it alone after they finish the catch for the day. Realizing that Carlo’s truck might be rigged with a bomb no one notices the hunched over with a cane. The reality sets in as Jon uses his private cell to call Davidson and the man who wanted to close the case years ago the head of the ops mission. But, El Tiger is sadistic, clever and manages to kidnap Jon but somehow things change and Jon’s op skills hit top marks but will that be enough after being shot up with a drug and secured in a way he might not be able to escape? Carelessness might get him killed and no one to hear his cries makes it easier for this lunatic to come after him. Learning the cause of death of Sheri’s father brings it all to the forefront as well as the dead fish and one more souvenir for him to remember this lunatic by. When Sheri expresses her feelings will he disregard them? What will be their final encounter?
The ending is tense and the water is ice cold and if Jon is to live someone will have to bring him out before the wounds he gets take him under for good. El Tiger is sure he’s going to win this final round. Carlos is worried he’s losing his best friend as author JJ Burke leads us through the final battle within Jon’s mind, the killer’s thoughts and the explosive ending that will shatter someone’s world but whose?
Jon Morton is a strong and solid character that thinks on his feet but at times is impetuous. He’s a character that would be great to be brought back in a series but will he remain doing what he seems to love best catching and selling fish with his crew or will he go back to being a covert agent if he lives? Jon Morton covert operator or LETHAL FISHERMAN! Either way you don’t want to cross him!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine