Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dennison's War by Adam Lassiter

Dennison's War
by Adam Lassiter
1986 Bantam

Dennison operates a soldier of fortune operation, only taking jobs where he kills bad guys that the government are too spineless to handle.  Great luck for him that there are enough high paying clients that give him conscience-free jobs, and even greater luck that he gets two jobs at once dealing with the same incident.  What are the odds.

Dennison assembles his team, assisted by his secretary the sexy and capable Miss Paradise.
Chris Amado - female South American freedom fighter
Miss Paradise - Dennison's sexy and capable assistant.
Matthew Conte - ex mafia hitman with a heart of gold
William Sterling Price - some ex-military guy or something
Vang - Hmong warrior from Laos who works to support a community of refugees.

Despite the juvenile premise, the novel starts out strong.  Lots of detail and characterizations.  Every character has a sleazy little back story.  I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.  However, once he had to settle on an actual plot things kind of fell apart.

We start off with a lot of random elements.  Two professional terrorists are rampaging across America, a rogue military man seems to be recruiting soldiers of fortune, and a mafia torpedo has gone rogue.  All of these elements come together thanks to coincidence and a twist ending so stupid I can't be bothered to dissect it.

Amado and Conte infiltrate the bad guys, with Dennison and Miss Paradise allowing themselves to be captured.  We now have four of the six characters with access to the underground shelter the baddies are operating out of.  Instead of doing something clever with this, they just ram through the front gate, making the previous hundred or so pages pointless.

Lassiter's style would probably be better suited to crime or espionage, where you don't shoot more than one person per scene.  The only real action in the novel is the raid at the end and it does not deliver.  Despite the level of detail and scene-setting earlier, I got little sense of what was going on.

Available used on Amazon.

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