The Last Refuge by Martin Roy Hill is the book that got me into reading military thrillers once again, a genre which I used to read quite a lot a few years ago. Then my reading tastes changed, and with it the genres I seeked out as well. Until now.
The book starts with a friendly fire incident which killed a civilian engineer working for a defense contractor in Iraq, which leads to a case of a wrongful death lawsuit started by Susan Stanning, the wife of said engineer.
Peter Brandt, a freelance reporter, is asked to look into the matter, because something is just not right with the whole incident.
Peter is quite familiar with war reporting, having had to report on quite the few tragic cases during his career as a journalist, which gave him not only lots of nightmares over the years, but also the tools and knowledge necessary to crack the case wide open – a case that might just be his very downfall.
The closer he gets to exposing the rotten core of the war business involving his own government, the stranger and more dangerous the whole affair gets. However Peter is not one to give up when the going gets tough. He is the kind of guy who can’t rest until all the secrets are revealed and the bad guys brought to justice, no matter how powerful they might be, or how high up in the government might be placed.
He keeps digging and digging until the shocking truth is finally revealed – but at what costs? His career is almost over, and his life is on the line as well. But he knows that it’s all worth it – if he doesn’t get eliminated by those who want to keep the secret of what really happened hidden. Afterall he wouldn’t be the first causality of this cruel war.
I enjoyed the twists and turns every step of the way. The suspense is all there and the author has a knack to keep the suspense going with his great narrative which is engaging, while being also scarily credible in fact.
I haven’t read the author’s prior Peter Brand novel, but The Last Refuge can be easily read on its own. It has a strong story written by an author who knows his job really well, having been himself a reporter and a military analyst focusing on battlefield medical operations for the Navy. He’s one author who actually walks the talk when writing the story.
The Cold War is long over, but we are constantly reminded that it can just as easily happen once again with dire consequences this time. The powers to be never tire of wanting military superiority over other countries powers, and that quest at some point could very well become the doom of us all.
Overall The Last Refuge is a book well worth reading and I will be picking up other novels by this author in the future as well.