No Mercy by John Gilstrap

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: #1 in the Jonathan Grave series
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 443
Challenges: none
Source: Purchased Used

The Short Version:
Former Delta Force member now retired from the military with a free-lance hostage rescue business, Jonathan Grave rescues the kid, but soon finds out that the mission is far from over.

Why I Read It:
I have been a fan of John Gilstrap ever since his first book Nathan’s Run blew me away when I read it over ten years ago. I’ve read all of his books since then.

The Book
Jonathan Grave is independently wealthy, ex-military, still in love with his ex-wife, loyal to his closest friends and by the way makes his living rescuing hostages without the help/interference of law enforcement and those pesky rules they have to follow.

The story opens with the attempted rescue of a kidnapped college student. Surprises come along fairly quickly and just when it seems that the mission is over, Jonathan discovers that the fallout from his actions has come back far to close to home.

It’s hard to say much more about the plot without giving away too much ahead of time so I’ll just say that the mission isn’t over and it gets far more complicated before it is.

My Thoughts:
This time around Gilstrap combines his usual ‘family or innocent individual in peril’ scenario with a bit of near military operation of the free-lance hostage rescue business run by the hero Jonathan Grave. It worked well for me to see him move this direction in his storytelling. It combined the things I liked about his books with a bit of Jack Reacher style ex-military hero in action. Unlike Jack Reacher, Jonathan “Digger” Grave is not a loner. He’s got a successful business and a couple of close partners. He’s also got the convenient combination of a close friend who is both priest and psychologist and believe me, he can use both.

The kidnapping that turns out to be much more scenario was interesting and had some surprising twists and turns as it played out. The addition of the local sheriff (who just happens to be a former FBI agent) was a teensy bit convenient to the plot, but ultimately a good addition to the mix despite a bit of predictability in how that part of the story played out.

I was pleased to discover that there is a second Jonathan Grave book out and I’ve already got it and hope to read it within the next few months.

I liked the way the main characters histories interconnected and it made their closeness and camaraderie believable. Grave’s primary field partner is a great combination of scary and funny that I truly enjoyed.

It’s a decent suspense thriller type of book and while not entirely plausible, just a fun roller coaster of an adventure. I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

Rating 4/5