The great strength of political thrillers such as Dave Edlund’s Guarding Savage is that each novel in the series revolving around the eponymous hero is typically a standalone book, allowing readers to gain entry to the series without any prerequisites. Broadly speaking, this is the exact reason the genre is so very popular. Edlund’s Peter Savage appears in his fifth book with Guarding Savage, an incredibly fast-paced and action-filled novel taking our hero and readers from sleepy Bend, Oregon, to London and then across the world to the tiny but wealthy nation of Brunei as a political crisis in the East China Sea dovetails with a high-profile kidnapping.
Peter is the epitome of the kind of hero who is, depending on perspective, always in the right place at the right time. In the opening of the novel, Peter rescues a young woman named Jade from being assaulted. This chivalrous act connects Peter to the scions of a huge international corporation run by the royal family of Brunei. As a means of thanks, he is flown with his loyal dog, Diesel, at his side to England to pick out a bespoke Rolls Royce. Once there, a second attempt is made to spirit Jade away and succeeds. Peter, Jade’s bodyguard, and Diesel are then tasked by Jade’s mother with finding and retrieving Jade from her kidnappers.
At the same time, Japanese and American warships training in the East China Sea are attacked and sunk by a never-before-seen hypersonic missile. It takes little to no time before the balance of power in the region threatens to overturn as China, the number one suspect of the US and its allies, doubles down on its denials as more ships are attacked. But matters are complicated further when the U.S. president is given an anonymous ultimatum—withdraw all military forces from Southeast Asia or suffer total destruction of the Seventh Fleet.
Edlund writes compelling prose, deftly fusing military jargon, history, and geographical detail with his two increasingly entwining plotlines. He also surrounds Peter with just enough engaging characters to buttress his hero without stealing focus or leaving him to commit some implausible act. Instead, readers learn alongside the characters. Edlund gives the reader plenty of heart-racing action, ranging from cinematic sequences to emotionally-intense encounters. As the political standoff grows, bringing the world closer and closer to an active war between the two most powerful nations on the planet, so does Peter’s own grasp of his kidnapping case, until finally both plotlines merge in a stunning manner. Lovers of political thrillers and mysteries will find Guarding Savage a satisfying addition to their library.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||338 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|