cover image Deep Black

Deep Black

Sean McFate and Bret Witter. Morrow, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-240373-5

McFate and Witter’s strong sequel to 2016’s Shadow War finds mercenary Tom Locke operating as a “slum merc” in ISIS territory north of Mosul, Iraq, after being betrayed by Brad Winters, his boss at Apollo Outcomes, a high-end military security company. Since fighting ISIS pays nothing, Locke and the remnants of his team—Boonchu “Boon” Tripnet and ex-SAS commando Wildman—decide to accept a lucrative offer from Prince Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, to locate a missing grown son who may be in Mosul. The elder Abdulaziz is plotting to make his family indispensable to the Saudi government in an effort to outmaneuver his rivals for the throne. The ensuing combat scenes are as good as any in the business. The authors are particularly proficient at tossing off one-liners (“Combat is like heroin. Even after it’s worn you out and thrown you away, you need more”). By the end, Locke finds himself in even more trouble than he was at the start. Satisfied readers wouldn’t have it any other way. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (Aug.)