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A Deeper Blue – John Ringo 2007

“A Deeper Blue” is the latest installment of John Ringo’s Paladin of Shadows series. The series follows
Mike Harmon, a retired Navy SEAL code named Ghost who’s adventures have been among other things; exciting, unpredictable, and surprisingly erotic. Through the course of events in the first four books in the series, Mike has gone from being a “Non-traditional” College student at the University of Georgia, to a wealthy estate holder in the Valley of the Keldara, Georgia (the country not the state this time). Along with the estate he has a small village of vassals, who by a quirk of history and selective breeding, are some of the finest natural warriors in the world. Now he has his own private strike force and when both the American and Russian governments need 100% deniability for a mission they call Mike Harman, The Kildar.

As “A Deeper Blue” opens we find Mike facing one of his greatest challenges as he must battle his own demons over the recent death of the woman he loved. Mike has sunken into a drunken depression that no one can seem to break, even when the President calls to ask for Mike’s help. Terrorists are planning to smuggle deadly VX nerve gas into Florida and the combination of Mike’s incredible luck when it comes to foiling terrorists, and his team’s ability to work outside the law make them the best chance to stop them.

Mike agrees to send his team of Keldaran commandos, but he leaves it to his second in command to run the show. This leads to disaster for the team and now Mike has to come to grips with his personal issues fast if he’s going to be able to stop a terrorist attack that would make the 9/11 disaster look like a drop in the bucket by comparison.

“A Deeper Blue” is fast paced with no shortage of action. Ringo brings a Miami Vice feel to this installment as we experience high speed boat and car chases as well as plenty of gunfights (although not the full scale military engagements of the last book). “A Deeper Blue” woks best if you have read the other books in the series, taken by itself a lot of the humor and many of the deeper plot elements of the story will be lost. Ringo has not re-invented the wheel with “A Deeper Blue”, he follows the general pattern of the other books in the series which reminds me of the “Bullets, Bombs, & Babes” films of Andy Sidaris from the 1980’s & 90’s. However, contrary to what one might expect, this is one of the strengths for this book and the series as a whole. I get the impression that John Ringo is writing exactly the kind of book that he’d like to read for fun and it shows. I recommend “A Deeper Blue” to anyone looking for a bit of excitement in their reading. It’s not Tolstoy (or it would be five times as long) but it sure is fun to read.

 



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