Author Recommendation: Ben Coes
Coup d’Etat gets high marks from me along with the rest of Ben Coes’ books. There are a lot of new authors out there but I doubt they can put together 3 books this good as well as Ben Coes. I look forward to reading more from him and considering how great his first three books are I’d say the best is yet to come.
I’ve been looking for a new thriller series for a long time. Something to entertain the portion of my brain that loves action, violence, war, combat and assassinations. I found that with Ben Coes’ Dewey Andreas novels even if at first I was quite skeptical of this author whom I had not heard of before I received an email from someone claiming to be his marketing manager. I honestly thought the email was some sort of scam so I called the number given in the email. The phone call settled all doubt that she was in fact his marketing manager and that they were willing to send me a copy of his upcoming book The Last Refuge. Why am I telling you this? Because I received this book two months in advance and I want you to know that just because I got a book for free I’m not some hack who will give out a great review in exchange for something free.
While his very kind marketing manager rushed to send me The Last Refuge I started looking into Mr. Coes. I went to his website and then looked at the section about him. To be completely honest I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t like his books because he, at least on paper, seems to be a hardcore Republican. However I remembered thinking that exact same thing when I first stumbled upon Vince Flynn. I thought “there is no way we’d get along and no way that I will like his books”. I learned to tell my brain to shut up after picking up my first Vince Flynn book. Oddly enough upon further inspection of Mr. Coes’ website I saw a glowing recommendation from Vince Flynn himself that in combination with my initial thoughts of hesitation made me purchase his first two books. You can see them on my iPad here.
Jump to my review of Ben Coes’ latest book The Last Refuge
While I was waiting for the advanced copy to arrive I dove into Power Down which is his first book. I didn’t read the synopsis (which might have quelled any initial doubt) so I didn’t know what to expect. After reading the first chapter though I knew I was hooked. The plot and the main character are so different from other thrillers in this niche that you stop comparing this book and the author to Vince Flynn and the like. You find it filling a void left by other books – a void you didn’t even know you had. The reason I say that is because the main character, Dewey Andreas, is so completely different than you’d expect from a former soldier (and former Delta Force). He’s an angry, rage filled, unappreciated, heavy drinker who left America over a decade ago and has no intentions of returning. After his son died of leukemia, his wife blew her brains out while he was training and the local prosecutor tried to frame him for it; the military abandoned him. I don’t think I could sing the Star Spangled Banner after all that either. Yet his work ethic and will to fight remain as is evidenced by the events that follow.
The other thing that I absolutely loved about this book was that Dewey Andreas is a trained killer but he wasn’t looking for the fight that found him. Basically he was standing in front of the fan when the shit hit it. To me this was unusual as well as something that I felt myself identifying with and it made his back story that much more believable. I wasn’t expecting to connect with a main character as much as I did with Dewey Andreas.
I have to say the terrorist plot in Power Down is absolutely genius. Instead of putting together a mishmash of actual terrorist plots from CNN headlines Ben Coes delivers what can only be described as pure brilliance. It gives you a different look at terrorism – a look that will scare you. It is a glimpse inside a world that will make you hope that there are people like Dewey Andreas because honestly this plot, this genius, makes much more sense than a half-baked underwear bomb. It is designed to destroy America and strike what we need and love most. If Osama bin Laden were alive he’d probably kill himself for not thinking of this first.
The Last Refuge
When his unreleased book arrived I had just finished Power Down so I sadly haven’t had a chance to read Coup d’Etat yet. I knew based off of the first book that if I started reading The Last Refuge at night I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I impatiently held off until morning. Now I did read the synopsis for this one and I had to scratch my head because Dewey Andreas’ past seemed to change from being a former Ranger and Delta to being a former SEAL and Delta. I’m sure that will be fixed before release. With that out of the way I was already very intrigued as it’s something that could be in the paper tomorrow. Iran has developed a nuclear bomb with intentions of destroying Tel Aviv.
With everything so current the book feels like it was written yesterday. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t reading a New York Times expose. The book throws mounds of valuable information at you as the plot unravels. I felt like my brain was going to reach maximum capacity the more I learned about VEVAK (Iranian version of DHS). If I have one gripe it is with the weapon terminology. Mr. Coes constantly uses “clips” instead of “magazines”. Clips or stripper clips is used to define a thin metal clip that is discarded upon loading the magazine. A magazine holds the bullets in the firearm. This is a common mistake and even Vince Flynn used “clips” in his first Mitch Rapp book. I really enjoyed the variation of firearms used though and I also like Dewey’s main sidearm, the M1911-A1 .45. While reading I saw mention of an iPad and a Keurig Coffee Brewer which made me smile because I just got done making a cup of coffee with mine. It’s those little modern details that make you believe in the relevancy that much more. I’d still believe the story if they were using an old Coffeemate but the Keurig mention makes it very 2012.
I love the introduction of Katie Foxx in thigh high leather Prada boots. Mr. Coes did a fantastic job of describing her. If you were to be killed by her at least you’d have a great view before you die. I’m hoping that she makes her way back into his next novel. I also really like the beautiful Jessica Tanzer the former head of FBI Counterterrorism and now the Presidents National Security adviser who is dating Dewey. Knowing she’s gorgeous really adds to the sex scenes! The sex isn’t explicit but it is exciting and well crafted. It’s yet another humanizing look into the characters.
What also stood out was the inclusion of China. Dewey was asked at the end of the book what he thought the most dangerous threats were to America. He replied “Radical Islamists, China and Congress”. China has been mentioned in Coes’ previous books as well. In Power Down they were buying up all Saudi oil while very concerned about Capitana (the oil rig that Dewey worked). In The Last Refuge you see more of China’s devious nature. They have a mole within the Mossad. A mole that is high up and has been in place for over a decade. Beijing promptly passes the confidential information right over to Iran leading to some serious problems. China is a growing threat to our national security and Ben Coes has been spot on in highlighting the subtle and not so subtle ways they’re impacting us.
Finally I have to say that I found parts of the book quite funny. Every character has a fantastically well-written personality but I found myself laughing at Dewey’s comments the most. His little jokes and how he deals with Jessica helped break up the very serious tone of the book. I remember one joke that had me laughing for a full minute. As Dewey transformed himself into a Middle Easterner he looked into the mirror and said “Praise Allah, give me three felafels and a grenade please”. What kind of book with such a serious, real and informative plot has the time to be funny? A very, very good one.
As I finish this review I’m going to go back and read Coup d’Etat even though The Last Refuge was its sequel. Why go back in time? His books are simply that good. I feel like I’m missing out on more jokes from Dewey as well as the relationship between him and Jessica. Even though I learned some of the plot in The Last Refuge I don’t care. I want to read it and I frankly can not wait for his next book to come out. As I said previously his books are quite different from Vince Flynn and that is a good thing. If they were similar I’d be bored and this review would be short. The Last Refuge is one of the best books that I have ever read and the young series is truly outstanding. Ben Coes has done a marvelous job and I am now a huge fan.
I highly recommend all of Ben Coes’ books!
I will add more reviews as Mr. Coes releases more books and Dewey Andreas continues to evolve.
A tightly-coordinated series of attacks shatters America’s energy-producing capacity, bringing the country’s largest energy company to its knees.
Beneath a mammoth oil platform off the coast of Colombia, a cell of terrorists strikes the largest petroleum field in the hemisphere and America’s hope for a new source of non-Mideast oil. In remote northern Canada, a major hydroelectric facility is targeted by a pair of suicide bombers. In Aspen, a lone assassin snowshoes silently through a Colorado snowstorm toward the ski house of the vacationing CEO. The night’s orchestrated destruction comes swiftly, anonymously, without a trace. But when no one stands up to take credit for the terror what quickly emerges is a deadly guessing game to find out who is behind the destruction — and what’s coming next.
And against the bloody backdrop, America’s best hope emerges from the unlikeliest of places: an anonymous oil platform worker named Dewey Andreas, a former U.S. soldier — a Delta commando — who survives the attack and vows to find out who is behind the death of his men. Calling on skills long-dormant, Dewey fights his way off the platform, following the trail of terrorists and operatives sent to stop him.
Meanwhile, the mysterious figure of Alexander Fortuna — an agent embedded into the highest levels of American society and business — works to set into play the second stage of these long-planned attacks. But Dewey’s unexpected survival interrupts Fortuna’s brilliantly-designed plan. Soon the two men are in a race against time; Fortuna to set off the next stage of attacks, Dewey to find the terrorist before it’s too late.
From the palaces of Saudi Arabia to the corridors of Washington power, from the dangerous alleyways of Colombia to the cane fields of Cuba, from the board rooms of Wall Street to the mansions of East Hampton, POWER DOWN offers a searing glimpse into an all-too-possible future, in which enemies hide in plain sight, the innocent are sacrificed, and America’s last hope, as always, rests in the hands of one of its own, a patriot, willing to risk it all for the country he loves. Via: Ben Coes
When a fragile peace breaks down and promptly devolves into a rapidly escalating shooting war between Pakistan and India, the United States is forced to intervene. With only hours remaining before the conflict reaches a deadly point of no return, the White house must find a way to shut it down immediately or risk the likelihood of a new global war.
A radical cleric has become the democratically elected president of Pakistan and uses a brutal incident in the Kashmir region as an opportunity to ignite war with India. The highly lethal conventional war spins out of control when Pakistan initiates a nuclear attack. India is on the verge of launching their own nuclear response, one that will have unimaginably disastrous results for the both the United States and the world at large. With only one chance to head this off, the President of the United States sends in his best people to do whatever it takes to restore the fragile peace to the region. With the clock ticking and Pakistan in the hands of a religious radical willing to do anything to destroy India, there remains only one viable option – to execute a coup d’etat in Pakistan.
There is only one man with the skills and experience to infiltrate the live war theater and remove the Pakistani president from power. Only one man the White House can trust. His name: Dewey Andreas. Now they have to find him before time runs out.
From the author of the critically acclaimed thriller Power Down, comes the latest ripped-from-the-headlines novel featuring his indelible and indomitable protagonist, the unforgettable Dewey Andreas.
Off a quiet street in Brooklyn, Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured by operatives of Iranian intelligence, who smuggle Meir back to Tehran, where he’s imprisoned in Iran’s most notorious penitentiary –Evin – then tortured and prepared for a show trial that will likely lead to the firing squad.
Only hours before, Meir had been tipped off that Iran had finally succeeded in building its first nuclear weapon, one they were planning to use to attack Israel. Meir’s source was a high level Iranian government official and his proof was a photo of the bomb itself. Meir was in the U.S. to recruit Dewey Andreas for a secret operation to destroy the Iranian bomb. His capture by Iran put an end to all that.
Dewey Andreas, a former member of Delta, owes his life to Meir and the team of Israeli commandos who saved his life. Now to repay his debt, Dewey must attempt the impossible – rescue Meir from Evin, and find and eliminate Iran’s nuclear bomb before it’s brought to Tel Aviv by boat and detonated. BREAK Unfortunately, Dewey’s first moves catch the attention of Abu Paria, the brutal and brilliant head of VEVAK, Iran’s intelligence service. Dewey must outwit and outfight an opponent with equal cunning, skill and determination, and with the fate of millions hanging in the balance.
With the help of leaked information from high-level officials inside of Iran and dissidents from groups outside the country, Dewey devises a high-risk, high-stakes operation that will allow him to find and hijack the device before it’s too late.