“Richard Marcinko is a living, breathing hero,” we are told in the author’s note in Rogue Warrior: Curse of the Infidel (Forge, 368 pp., $26.99) by Marcinko and Jim DeFelice. Marcinko served in Vietnam and has received a Silver Star and four Bronze Stars. After the Vietnam War, he started and commanded SEAL Team 6, the Navy’s anti-terrorist group. He also started Red Cell International, another anti-terrorist unit whose fictionalized exploits are found in Marcinko’s Rogue Warrior novels, including this one.
There is enough action in this novel to fill at least six ordinary military action thrillers. Co-author DeFelice has written, ghost-written, and co-written many other novels in this genre. That includes collaborations with authors with famous names such as Stephen Coonts, Larry Bond, and Marcinko.
Throughout the book, the assumption is that the reader has read many other Rogue Warrior books, perhaps all of them. That assumption does not work for me as this is the only book in that series I have read.
This Rogue Warrior novel contains lots of derring-do, nifty electronic gizmos of all sorts, and an endless inventory of weapons, large and small, all of which are used in a long list of exotic countries reached by submarine, by jumping out of airplanes, and by just about every other possible method of border crossing. Djibouti and Somalia are just two of these perilous and well-described countries.
There is a high body count. However, none of the principles who have appeared in the earlier novels—and who we expect will appear in future novels—are harmed in any serious life-threatening way. The worst is a flesh wound.
Our aging hero, Mr. Dick, is at the center of most of the exploits, valiantly testing his aging body, especially his creaky knees. His experience and his brain stand him in good stead and keep him going from chapter to chapter.
Those who love these tales of the Rogue Warrior and the wars against terror, drugs, and virtually all other threats to our way of life will enjoy this book. It’s well written, well edited, and it moves right along. There’s even an occasional reference to the Vietnam War.
The characters named Shotgun, Mongoose, Trace, and Junior are featured doing what they have done in the past and what they continue to do: provide some comic relief and constant, loyal support to the hero.
I was surprised and thrilled to find at the end of the book (I read this on my Kindle) extensive and well-written footnotes with information on weaponry and other technical devices, as well as the occasional witty comment.
As the critics say, this is tough, rip-roaring stuff. Nobody does it quite like Marcinko and whomever he taps to help with the project of getting a new book written.