Ted Bell's debut book is a post cold war thriller. The main character Alex Hawke is likened by some to a new James Bond. This is unfair to both the character and to the author. Their are some similarities but Hawke is a much deeper character, James Bond is a legend but his past is a bit mysterious. This is not the case with Alex Hawke. His past is very much at the surface of the character portrayal.
The story centers around a stolen/sold Russian submarine. Hawke is tasked with locating and getting it back. The story is fast paced and easy to follow. It is a book you can put down if you have to but you won't want to.
The cast of characters that support the main character are well written and indeed add a great deal to the book. Ted Bell is a good storyteller and this is a masterful Debut.
Excellent story, right up there with works by Cussler and I might even say
DuBrul except that "Deep Fire Rising" left me wanting to throttle the author
(or at least burn the book) for how poorly he treated his hero in the story.
Unlike DuBrul, Ted Bell treats his hero as the good man he is and not a
whipping post, and this is an exciting, well written book as a result.
This story starts of great, drawing you in with pirates, treasure, and a murder, and continued to be a good story for most of the tale. However towards the end I though it lost some momentum, as it ended quickly with little resolution to the secondary story lines. Also, it seemed to me the details about the treasure Hawke's parents are looking for at the beginning do not play much of a role in the story except for his parents murders are some of the main characters. Another story with the Cuban/American conflict as a backdrop.
I'm struggling to decide if I really liked this book or not - I may have to read the second one in the series to see if I was just expecting too much or if it was really a poorly written story. In some ways, I really liked the story - the complexity of the background, the intricacy of the plot, the pace of the story, the action and fighting... on the other hand, the character development seemed a bit far fetched and overdone. I hate characters that are too perfect - mucho rich, absolutely pretty and/or handsome, incredibly lucky, great businessmen, etc... and Hawke fit into ALL those catagories. And, there were too many sidekicks and sexy damsels in the cast of characters. This book seemed to be too long by about a third - maybe it was just setting up threads for subsequent stories - one can hope anyway.
I probably enjoyed this just enough to give the second book a shot.
As a direct descendant of a legendary English privateer, Lord Alexander Hawke is skilled in the ways of sea combat - and one of England's most decorated naval heroes. Now, Hawke returns to the Caribbean on a secret mission for the American government. A highly experimental stealth submarine is missing. She carries forty nuclear warheads, and is believed to be in the hands of an unstable government just ninety miles from the American mainland.
A great adventure! From the foggy, cold of Britain to the tropics of the Caribbean, Lord Alexander Hawke, direct descendant of a legendary English privateer (pirate), and one of England's most decorated naval heroes, is on a secret mission for the American government. One of the Soviet's last experimental stealth nuclear submarines is missing. With 40 nuclear warheads on board, it is believed to be in the hands of an unstable, new govt. just 90 miles from the American mainland. A strike against the US is imminent and Hawke must locate the sub. At the same time, Hawke will finally avenge the slaughter of his family 30 years ago that has haunted him his whole life. Lots of sinister intrigue and fast-paced action. Alex Hawke is an adventurer. His wealth allows him the ability to enjoy the things he loves...top-of-the-line aircraft and seacraft, the relationships with the people he trusts, fabulous locales, and the respect of the governments he has served.Very exciting!
Hawke is the best book i have read this year. I am an avid reader and book collector, and i have read hundreds of books, Hawke by Ted Bell will definitely be put in the one of the best list. I enjoy this book so much, i went out and purchased the entire series. It is an unforgettable story.I definitely recommend this book to all readers.