A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Good military mystery

Hard Rain, the third book in David Rollins' Vin Cooper series, was the first Rollins book I ever read, and it was pretty enjoyable. I particularly liked the conflicting aspects of Vin Cooper's personality. You see, Cooper is a longtime member of the U.S. Air Force, making him one tough, pro-military guy. But he works as an Internal Affairs officer in the Air Force, so he's also well aware, via his many investigations, that military personnel don't always do the right thing. Thus, the patriotic and cynical sides of Cooper's personality, often at odds with one another, make for interesting reading.

The main story here concerns the investigation by Cooper and his fellow investigator (and ex-significant other) Anna Masters into the apparent serial killing of the U.S. military attache to Turkey, who's found cut up into little pieces. The facts soon suggest, however, that there might be more to the attache's death than him simply being the victim of a bizarre ritualistic killer, especially when subsequent deaths occur involving other figures in the attache's sphere of influence.

Things move along nicely, with the investigation being supported by some good action, as well as a couple of spicy subplots involving a new romance for Vin and Vin's annoyance at Anna's new love, who Vin thinks is a creep. Also keeping things engaging is Vin's sarcastic attitude about just about everything (especially lawyers), and the frequent and pretty funny jokes he tells (again, especially about lawyers). Finally, there's also a related plotline, compelling yet sad, about yet another way the U.S. government is perhaps not properly protecting and caring for U.S. service people serving or recently home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

While it's probably better to read the initial two books in this series first, one can dive into Hard Rain cold without any problem, as I did. Be warned, though: although the main story is resolved at the end, there's a doozy of a cliffhanger involving Vin and Anna that will quickly make you crave the next book in the series.

Hard Rain is available on Kindle for $7.99.

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