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One weapons..and no backup.just like old times.

When mechanical-armed thief, Jacob Strand, agrees to hijack a spaceship for a client, he had no idea the adventure would pull him back into the military world he had left behind. Finding the bodies of three headless soldiers was definitely not in the plans. Neither was being framed for the multiple murders or being pursued by a secret military unit.

Having no one else to turn to, Jacob turns to his friend and occasional associate, Terrick, leader of the local crime syndicate known only as The Cult. Only Terrick is having problems of his own - what with just being deposed as leader of the syndicate and taken prisoner by his successor. Jacob soon realizes the same person is responsible for their situations; he and Terrick will have no choice but to work together in order to survive.

Will Jacob be able to face the demons from his past?

Strand by Adam Slade is non-stop action thriller taking place in the distant future. The characters are likeable and the story's pace is fairly fast. The dialogue is sharp and the mystery of why Jacob and Terrick were targets is well handled.

Jacob Strand is an interesting character, we don't really know much about him other than the fact that he has a mechanical arm and has been a thief for a several years. When he discovers the bodies of the dead soldiers on the ship he just hijacked; his first thoughts are naturally about getting rid of the evidence - he's not thinking about why this particular ship was targeted or why he was chosen to be the ship's thief. Unable to get in touch with Terrick, his friend and occasional mentor, Jacob is surprised to be the target of a police investigation. Solving the puzzle of who set him up and why he's being framed becomes as important as staying ahead of those who are trying to catch him.

The action is non-stop from start to finish in this story and there is some violence - though none is gratuitous or overly descriptive. I would have liked to have seen deeper character development for both Jacob and Terrick. While Jacob does discover who framed both him and Terrick and why; I wasn't really satisfied with his emotional reaction to the discovery. I think it would have been helpful to the plot if we had been provided with a deeper look into Jacob's past, the man he was and what has made him the man he has become. I think it would have made the mystery portion of the story richer and more colorful.

While the ending of the story closes this particular episode in Jacob's life; it's very open about his future - he's going to continue to be a person of interest in the eyes of the military. I'm hoping Mr. Slade is planning on additional books for Jacob Strand and that we get to know Jacob in more depth, it would be nice to see him be a little more emotional. Overall this is an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Slade's work.

Book Blurb for Strand

One arm, no weapons, and no backup. Just like old times.

Mechanical-armed ex-soldier turned spaceship thief, Jacob Strand, is drawn back into a world he thought he’d left behind, when he’s framed for a gruesome multiple murder and hounded by a mysterious military unit. With the help of his best friend, and leader of the local crime syndicate, Terrick, he must face his demons and take the fight to those who seek to destroy him.

Warning: Violence, one (very) mild torture scene, nothing explicit or gratuitous. 

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2011 3.75