Title: Dark Territory (a Dan Morgan Thriller–#6.5) by Leo J. Maloney
Genre: Currently #80 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Singles, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and #425 Military
Publisher: Penguin Random House Publishing Services
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Source: Penguin Random House Publishing Services and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Dark Territory – Cover depicts military ops
Alex Morgan, the daughter of black ops specialist Dan Morgan, has just come off a sniper hit that took out a North Korean officer in Russia. Now the problem is to exit the country safely and that is determined to be the Trans-Siberian Railway. She is, however, Dan’s daughter, and knows she cannot let down her guard until she is well out of there. But she is not the only one aboard with specialized talents.
Nothing like a thriller that grabs you by the collar and pulls you in and this short story will do just that. Then you better hang on because this plot barrels along and doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath until the protagonist makes the world safe again. I must admit to reading this black ops veteran author for the first time, although he apparently has a large volume of successful novels to his credit.
Leo J Maloney has given the protagonist reins to Morgan’s daughter for this short interlude between his series full-length novels. She has been a good student, an excellent sniper, and remembers the lessons her father taught her, all to assure her safety in the face of some of the world’s worst mercenaries. After her successful mission, she must reach her extraction site, but shortly after boarding notices a striking gentleman and his companions and sends the picture to headquarters of the old man before entering “dark territory,” that vast distance on the world’s longest railway system where there is absolutely NO cell towers or communication coverage. She also extracts further information from Kreesat’s private conversation and the answer she receives from her uplink is not a good one. She knows she cannot wait for more seasoned agents to take control.
This is not the first time the “cobra” (Dan Morgan) has confronted Maxim Kreesat, a.k.a., the Ghost. He is a Serbian mercenary gone rogue who has abducted Russian aerospace scientist Dmitry Kozlov. Kozlov can operate the buttons of satellites armed with nuclear warheads and his aim is to extort money from both the capitals of the U.S. and Russia before he obliterates them. Kreesat has an additional hostage, Kozlov’s daughter Svetlana, to ensure his success.
Dan has not yet tested his daughter’s abilities to this extent and, nervous, immediately makes plans to intersect the train and neutralize Kreesat and his crew. In the meantime, Alex is handling things on the train, thank you very much, and she knows how to use her assets to full advantage, while her father is sneaking on the train.
I love that Maloney shows a young woman as a chip off the old block and apparently as capable. She is smart, intuitive, and engaging. The character of the train conductor is immediately sympathetic, as is Svetlana, who appears to be fairly proficient once she has the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
The train provides an interesting and unique backdrop and provides for a limited stage of tight but powerful conflict. The tension telegraphs through the story-telling, keeping you glued to the well-crafted plot. Are we seeing the handing over of the Dan Morgan reins? I can see this as a thoroughly entertaining segue to the next full-length installment of the series. This fast pseudo-military thriller is short and sweet. I was allowed the download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any who enjoy a fast-moving pseudo-military suspense thriller.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author series) In the mid 1960’s, while in the military, Leo J Maloney was recruited to become a deep cover black ops contractor for a clandestine government agency.
While he was serving his country in the secretive world of Black Ops over 30 years, he operated several “cover” businesses including a classic car brokerage, promotions and limousine companies, and a detective agency. After leaving his career in black ops, Leo continued several of his cover businesses, and also had the opportunity to try his hand at acting in independent films and TV commercials.
In his most recent project, Leo began writing, reliving many of his Black Ops experiences and evolving them into his books. In 2011 he signed a contract with Kensington Publishing Corp for the Dan Morgan thriller series. The first book, Termination Orders, was released in 2012. Silent Assassin, 2013, Black Skies, 2014, Twelve Hours, 2015, Arch Enemy & For Duty and Honor, 2016, and Rogue Commander, 2017. Dark Territory, & Threat Level Alpha will be released in 2018. Leo is currently in contract talks to have the Dan Morgan Thriller novels brought to Cable TV. ©2018 V Williams