Thursday, March 12, 2009

12. Strike Force 7 by Ian MacAlister

Strike Force 7 pictureIan MacAlister was on Lantzvillager's radar and I found it out in Winnipeg. It's a commando adventure in the manner of Desmond Bagley, but tighter and grimmer. A tycoon's daughter and wife are kidnapped by tribal rebels in Morocco in order to pressure the government to release political prisoners. Knowing the government won't budge, the tycoon hires an ex-mercenary, who then assembles a team to try and infiltrate the mountain hideout of the rebels and rescue the wife and daughter. The story is told almost entirely from the perspective of the lead commando, Canadian Earl Jarrel, who just got out of a french prison for gun-running. Canadians in these books never seem very Canadian. Perhaps we were just way tougher in the '70s or perhaps a life of international warfare and crime will harden you up a bit. It just always seems that these authors like to throw in a Canadian guy without any real knowledge of their culture or character, so they come off as kind of a generic non-American english speaking person. I know we aren't the most identifiable of commonwealth peoples, but a bit more effort could be made on the writer's part.

It's a minor quibble. The book is straightforward and enjoyable. The description of Morocco's crazy markets is captivating and the tracking through the desert and mountains gripping. There is little time wasted with sentiment or stupid behaviour and no unecessary morality to clutter up the proceedings. This is how these kind of books are supposed to be written. On the other hand, there wasn't anything remarkable or mind-blowing, so I recommend this book primarily if you are a fan of the genre.

August West has a nice review here, with a bit more background on the author.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Turns out that Marvin Albert (Ian McAlistair) was also the pseudonym of Nick Quarry (Vendetta).