Greg Rucka is crazy prolific. He’s written TONS of comic books and graphic novels, short stories, and is the author of multiple novels, six featuring bodyguard Atticus Kodiak, and two featuring Tara Chace, the protagonist of his Queen & Country series. Alpha is the first in planned series of three thrillers featuring undercover Delta Force operative Master Sergeant Jonathon “Jad” Bell.
Jad’s an interesting guy. He’s tough, loyal to his friends, loves his daughter and is still in love with his ex-wife. This all comes into play in Alpha, when he’s placed undercover at a Disney World-like amusement park where a terrorist attack may occur. The reader knows the attack is coming… and also has the inside scoop on the surprisingly complex sleeper agent who will make it all happen. The reader also knows that this is terrorism-for-hire, with the danger and ensuing deaths all designed to advance an agenda within American politics.
The story is full of suspense, plot twists, and has a touch of pathos. A good read, Alpha would make an outstanding movie. (I’m totally thinking Jeremy Renner for Jad. Or perhaps Damian Lewis.) I see it as a buddy flick like Ocean’s 11 crossed with a family-in-danger action movie like Die Hard. There’s Jad’s beautiful ex-wife, his hearing-impaired daughter, the conflicted terrorist and his good and lovely American girlfriend, plus a team of hardened but committed soldiers. The outsider on Jad’s team is CIA, and she’s not fully trusted until it’s too late to do any good. All’s well that ends well, but it’s a real nail-biter all the way.
Book no. 2 in the Jad Bell series is Bravo – evidently already completed but I cannot find an expected publication date – and no. 3 is tentatively titled Charlie. Rucka intends to stop there, but I wonder if the lure of Delta, Echo, and Foxtrot will prove too much for him!