Fans of Jon Land’s Blaine McCracken thrillers are in luck because there is a new one in this long series, The Tenth Circle (Open Road, 536 pp., $16.99, paper). There must be at least a dozen of them by now, and if you are like me, you have been waiting with bated breath for the new one.
This one is no letdown. It’s an engrossing and edge-of-the-seat thriller. As the back cover blurb puts it: “Blaine McCracken races to stop terrorists from unleashing an ancient weapon of unimaginable power at the president’s State of the Union speech.” Sure, this is a preposterous a plot as any that have preceded it, but isn’t that what we love about these books?
Once again Land shows off his powers as the author. He conveys the magnetism of the main character, Blaine McCracken, who is far from a cookie cutter super hero, but who always comes through in the end to save the planet. And he does so in ways and with a style that keeps readers who enjoy this kind of book enthralled.
This reader is helped along by the fact that Blaine is a Vietnam veteran who is now in his sixties but who shows no signs of letting up. He still does amazing stunts. He is still that same exiled agent who knows fourteen ways to kill a man in less than two seconds. That is the way I want him to be—true to his history.
His trusty sidekick, Johnny Wareagle, is back, too. As is the usual worthy bad guy. A thriller without a bad guy of the shape and dimensions of the Reverend Jeremiah Rule is not a thriller worthy of the name. Land continues to be a master at creating monstrous bad guys.
There is a similarity in the books in this series, but that is what I love about them. They all move fast and are such fun to read that it is a compliment to the author to say that I’d have to go back and reread all the books to sort them out one from another. But I would be happy to do so.
I have, in fact, done just. I have reread more than one of the McCracken books by accident and loved the read the second time as much I had the first.
For those who have not read any books in the series series, what are you waiting for? If you love the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, then you will love the McCracken books. They have many of the vital elements that make the Reacher books addictive for thriller enthusiasts. I recommend you buy all of the McCracken books and read them in order. This is a series that improves as it goes along.
I don’t know anything about Jon Land’s military background. I do know he is a superior writer of thrillers and I hope he lives a long and productive life.
His website is www.jonlandbooks.com