cover image Reaper: Ghost Target: A Sniper Novel

Reaper: Ghost Target: A Sniper Novel

Nicholas Irving, with A.J. Tata. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-12734-1

The combined military experience of bestseller Irving (The Reaper) and retired general Tata (Direct Fire) lends credibility to this series launch, but off-the-shelf bad guys and standard mystery genre elements slow the momentum. In 2010, Chechen terrorist Khasan Basayev and three Russian army men parachute into the ocean off the coast of Savannah, Ga. The Russians are captured, but Basayev successfully buries a nuclear suitcase-bomb and escapes. In the present, the deadliest sniper in the U.S. Army, Vick Harwood (aka the Reaper), and spotter Corporal Sammie Samuelson are in Afghanistan on a mission to kill Basayev. When artillery rounds hit their position, Vick survives and returns to the U.S. for rehab, but Sammie disappears. Later, as Vick travels from base to base training snipers, someone is using his personal sniper rifle, which he lost in Afghanistan, to kill American generals. Suspicion falls on Vick because the killings coincide with his being nearby. Despite the pacing problems, military action fans will eagerly await the next installment. 75,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (May)