Guys with Guns

No, Anuka isn’t wielding a Baretta 92F in Book 3 of my current series. Neither is Kelios packing a Sig P365. These are different guys. Year ago I wrote a series of short thrillers about a young guy and his team of highly-specialized operatives fighting bad guys on the world stage. Think Sneakers meets Mission Impossible, with a dash of the X-Files.

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I’ve been a bit coy when asked: “What are you reading?”. It’s a simple question, but I’ve deftly avoided answering. It’s time to come clean. I’ve been doing some reason into the thriller genre in view of dusting off my old stories, once Book 3 of DoD is complete. Guys with guns, and a particular set of skills. The underlying thread of these stories fascinates me. Not the violence or even the intrigue. At the heart of these stories is a well-trained guy trying to do what’s best for his country. That’s what my gun guy stories are about, and it’s what I like. I wanted to outline a few of those stories here.

The Gray Man

I was expecting a story about some poor dude who got argyria from exposure to too much silver. Not so much. The Gray Man is a guy (with a gun) named Cort Gentry. Yes, Netflix did a decent adaptation with Ryan Gosling, but let’s stay focused. The Grey Man is an assassin that doesn’t exist. He was rescued like a beagle puppy from incarceration and trained to kill people for the CIA. When they try to burn him, he burns back.

What makes the Gray Man unique is his unwavering ability to focus on a problem, regardless of the obstacles. This is a characteristic the Netflix show glosses over. Which is sad because he is a little bland without it.

They Gray Man is the name of Book 1 of The Gray Man Series. I know. A bit uninspired naming. But the book was fantastic. Mark Greaney does a wonderful job of building suspense (something I need to work on) and raising the stakes (something else I need to work on). I highly recommend this book if you like guys with guns.

The Terminal List

Another recent adaption (Amazon this time), but that’s still not why we are here. BOOKS! The Terminal List by Jack Carr surprised me. I watched the show first (which I don’t normally do) and enjoyed it. Chris Pratt was good. The genre elements were spot on. But the book was on another level. The glimpse behind the curtain of the lives of our US Special Forces (Navy SEALs in particular) was wonderful. It was so well done, in fact, that a few parts of Carr’s books are redacted by the US government.

The Terminal List follows a pretty bad month in the life of Navy SEAL Commander James Reece. The story starts with Reece (many guns at hand) losing his whole team in an ambush. He survives and Carr really presses into the guilt guys in this situation feels. It’s very real and you connect with Reece early on. And it’s a good thing because you need to like him to follow the trail of bad stuff he does to avenge… lots of people (no spoilers) and get to the bottom of who set his team up. Bro makes a list and checks it twice. Reece won’t stop until they kill him or he crosses off every name.

My intent in the research was to read Book 1 on a handful of series, but I’ve already started on Book 2, True Believer. These are very tight stories packed with tons of cool information about the lives of the SEALs. Oh, and guns. Lots of guns.

The Lions of Lucerne

This Brad Thor tale takes a slightly different turn from the previous two. Scot Harvath, ex-Navy Seal turned Secret Service, is kind of a rogue like his aforementioned counterparts, but is also more of a company man. He works for legitimate parts of the government and isn’t a black ops guy like The Gray Man. But Harvath is a bad man, no less. Definitely one of the guys with guns. The main character gets kicked around a lot, which bothered me for some reason. The plot of this story centers around an attempt to hold the US President for ransom for political reasons. Not on Scot Harvath’s watch. This is a fun tale, and it’s clear that was written in the early 2000s. The tech kind of dates that story. I will read more Brad Thor.

The End of My Magazine

I liked these stories, as well as a few others. Guys with guns is my own term because Thriller doesn’t work for me. I want to review American Assassin by Vince Flynn and some Kyle Mills stuff (once I read it) in the near future.

Would you like to read a modern day shoot-em’-up tale by yours truly? Or should I conjure up a nifty pseudonym? Let me know at