Friday, April 10, 2009

Patriot Acts - An Intense, Fast-paced Modern Day Thriller

Patriot Acts
An Intense, Fast-paced Modern Day Thriller

By Cheryl C. Malandrinos

April 1, 2009 Hidden away in an Alaskan prison, serving time for a crime he never committed, Colonel Fisher Harrison thinks of revenge. His government forsake him and his Special Ops buddies and no one was meant to survive. If Fisher gets out of that hellish place, the man who put him there is going to pay.
But, that man is now President of the United States and seemingly untouchable; until the Islamic Republic of Iran and radical American militia groups join forces, and President Christopher Tate knows that Colonel Harrison is the only man who can stop a planned covert nuclear attack. Will Fisher help the government who forsake him? And if he does, will he make it out alive?

"Patriot Acts" by Steven Clark Bradley is an intense, fast-paced modern day thriller that leaves you clinging to the edge of your seat. Bradley's wealth of experience comes alive in this story of a covert nuclear attack planned by two deadly forces. Having traveled to thirty-four countries and having been a freelance journalist in Iraq, Israel and Turkey, Bradley creates a realistic and scary portrait of potential terrorism issues home and abroad.

Strong and complex characters fill this novel. From Fisher Harrison to Christopher Tate, from radical militia leader Len Garret to Jamie O'Rourke, the President's Chief of Staff, every player is alternately sympathetic and despicable, likable and easily hated. Bradley has done an excellent job of creating multi-faceted characters whose actions move this story along at a fast clip.

That said, the overuse of the exclamation point in the dialogue rendered its effect useless, and a good editor may have helped making some of the transitions easier. Since this book travels back and forth in time, the choppy transitions occasionally left this reader with a moment of confusion until she figured out the character was recalling past events.

"Patriot Acts" by Steven Clark Bradley will be a hit with military fiction fans, lovers of fast-paced thrillers, and anyone interested in the War on Terror. This is definitely a book worth checking out.
Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is the Editor of The Book Connection, a blog focusing on reviews, author interviews, and on hosting virtual book tour guests. She's also a reviewer for The Muse Book Reviews. Cheryl is currently looking for more reviewers to join her blog, especially for those who review ebooks. A virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion, Cheryl sees a bright future for review bloggers and calls the Internet a 'huge promotion playground' for publicists and authors.

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"People do not give up their Freedom. They naturally take it for granted. Since freedom is not granted by any government, we forget, Power and Freedom are always in conflict. Freedom either slinks away like a vapor, we don't know it’s gone till it is no more. Or, it is snatched away from a people too dependent to stand alone. There is no Security without Freedom Don’t know?"

"Don’t Care?
Neither does Apathy nor Ignorance"


Patriot Acts

Today, America faces enemies that make the chilling world of the Cold War seem like much brighter times. The Islamic forces that have declared Jihad on America have caused the greatest threat to the life of the United States since World War II. The novel, "Patriot Acts" is a very original, well-researched and very plausible look into what could happen if the nation of Iran is allowed to become a nuclear power. All of the sites and stats and cultural aspects are true and thoroughly researched. Also, having lived in several Islamic countries, I have a first-hand ability to write about the lifestyles in places like Iran.

The setting of this story takes place in the very near future with allusions into the past from the main characters. The characters are very profoundly developed in the areas of action, dialog and emotion. In Patriot Acts, America finds itself under covert nuclear attack from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the only person who can effectively retaliate against their aggression is Fisher Harrison, the best trained Special Ops killer the military has.

Iran has represented the root of terrorism since 1979 until today. The only problem is that Fisher Harrison is in a federal prison, framed for a murder he did not commit, framed by his former boss, now the President of the United States of America. The plotting in this novel works from the premise that America faces three major challenges.

One problem this story deals with is the growing threat with Iran and its desire to procure nuclear weapons. The next problem is the insecurity that America faces from the border with Mexico. In Patriot Acts, the border easily allows Iranian operatives to infiltrate America. The third situation playing out at the same time in this novel is the threat of American radical militia groups joining hands with radical Islamic terrorists to try to bring down the United States Government.

In the midst of all the upheaval, Fisher Harrison, who is serving a life term in a federal penitentiary, is the only man trained well enough to stop this move against America, but he has a goal of killing President Christopher A. Tate, whom he believes framed him as a killer. The mysterious situation surrounding the murder and the truth of it all in the end makes for tantalizing intrigue especially when mixed in with the terrorist threats facing the country. You will take an amazing journey that will transport you from Alaska to the Midwest and to the heart of the nation of Iran itself as two enemies unite to save the nation. You will be amazed how possible this story is and may inconveniently render the reader afraid in realizing how close to home it could all be!

The main question is whether America is willing to do what is necessary to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America? The deeds required and carried out in this story are not acts of terror, not acts of vengeance but in reality, Patriot Acts! Steven Clark Bradley

Excerpt From Patriot Acts

Special Handling

Harrison’s eyes were closed in a drug-induced stupor, but his mind was replaying the day his family abandoned him! He saw it all afresh and looked out over a terrain that was lifeless, and yet there were living crawling things all around him, in the shrubs, in the bald headed trees and all around his feet. Some of the things were insects, others were reptilian but the large majority of them were human. Down the highway of death all about him was the burnt out carnage of a war that was caused by a man set on seizing the Middle East and setting it ablaze and resulting from a President’s lack of resolve to finish a job barely halfway completed. Cars, Trucks, both civilian and military, the carcasses of tanks and men alike were strewn about like God had reached down and picked it all up at once and tossed it into space and let it fall at will! Bodies of men with their limbs blown off were everywhere with the detached limbs of another comrade’s arm, leg or head laying next to them. This highway of madness Fisher Harrison saw so clearly as he looked at the residue of 100 hours of slaughter that had taken Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Fisher Harrison lamented, as he knew that his brothers in arms had been removed from their advance to kill the tyrant only to be assured that they’d have to return one day to repeat it all over again, only at a far more wretched price! They were all gone!

Fisher looked over the horizon in every direction to see if even a cloud of smoke could be seen from a retreating Bradley or Abrams. There was nothing! They were gone; all gone except for him! The only remaining American thing he could still see was the chopper he had escaped from death in; the chopper where 7 of his fellow Special Black Ops had not been so lucky. As Fisher took out his long-range viewers the only hint of the war left were thick, black clouds rising into the sky from the incinerated oil wells in Kuwait and the various cars, trucks, and military hardware that had not yet burned themselves out!

Fisher saw movement to his left. He walked over to a car that was burnt beyond recognition. Inside was the dead body of a young Arab girl, about 16. On top of her was an Iraqi soldier still breathing and still inside her where he had been when an exploding shell had impacted close to the car where he had been reviling her. His breathing was shallow and his eyes opened slowly as he regained consciousness and he mumbled!

Allah Wakbar…”

The soldier’s eyes opened and Fisher saw him look down at the girl he had been raping when he had been knocked unconscious. The soldier had not seen Fisher but looked down at the dead girl under him and he started to laugh. It had seemed ironic to him that she had escaped her pain by dying and he had been forced to continue in his by living. The soldier slapped the dead girl across the face and then spat on her just before he pulled himself out of her. He stood up and looked down at the young Iraqi girl, one of his own, and laughed again before turning around to see Colonel Fisher Harrison’s gun staring in his face.

“American! You are American! War over! God bless America! God bless America!”

Fisher kept the gun directly about six inches from the Iraqi’s face and aimed between the Muslim Rapist’s eyes!

“Thank you, God always blesses America! Give your Allah my regards!”

Fisher squeezed the trigger and the Iraqi’s face exploded before Fisher’s eyes!
Fisher Harrison didn’t flinch! Killing was his job. It was what he did without the slightest increase in his pulse.

He heard a sudden sound of rotors twirling and saw the tornado-like affect of a Black Hawk heading his way and stirring up the desert floor. He looked straight ahead of him and up and saw a chopper and his heartbeat picked up speed when he thought of his brethren coming to take him out of this field of twisted metal, war-ravaged breathless faces and smoldering death!

The chopper continued its approach and then the pilot and his Ordinance Specialist saw Fisher! The chopper flew toward him and hovered overhead. Fisher started waving his arms until he saw the expression on the pilot and Or. Spec’s faces. Fisher then just stood there under the chopper holding his hands up with sand and debris being propelled all around him and in him realizing they had not come to rescue him but to kill him, to get him out of the way!

Fisher stared into their faces less than one hundred feet above him with a huge caliber round staring back at him. The pilot could not take his eyes off Fisher! Fisher was sure he had seen tears run down both of their faces! Fisher too had the same sort of eyes looking back at them pleading with them to take their brother home!

Fisher turned his back to them and fell to his knees and looked at the death all around him. He raised his arms and cried out!

“Who are we? What have we become? What can we defend?”

This was a case of ‘Special Handling’! Perhaps his own brothers would make him one with his dead comrades, but if so it would be a shot in the back! Why would he bravely take a bullet to the forehead when the nation he had so bravely fought for was about to so cowardly make him disappear?

The pilot just hung there in the air and Fisher resolved himself to his fate and knew there would be justice, even if not in this life! Fisher finally turned around and looked up at the two soldiers hanging in the metal whirling bird hanging not so far above him. He saw the pilot lean over and say something to his Or. Spec. Then the Or. Spec held a radio like the one Fisher had at his side. He flashed Fisher four fingers and Fisher turned the radio to channel four and could now hear all communications between the chopper and base camp. The chopper maneuvered about ten feet to the right of Fisher.

Inside the cockpit, Kuwait command enquired of the soldiers’ mission.

“Have you located the target?”

“That’s affirmative! Target in sight, Sir.”

“Execute then for God sake!”

“Roger that! Executing now sir!”

Then the chopper that had moved away from Fisher loaded its gun and the Or. Spec stuck his head out of the craft and Fisher saw him very plainly and clearly! Fisher had told himself he would never forget his face, but he eventually would. The Or. Spec waved at Fisher to get down on the ground. Fisher concurred and the Or. Spec fired off fifteen rounds just to Fisher’s right. Fisher knew they had missed and knew they had chosen to miss!

The chopper then maneuvered direct over top of Fisher and the Or. Spec took a large plastic bag full of blood and dropped it down from the chopper so it would fall directly on Fisher whose body was still splayed out flatly in the corrupted sand of the Highway of Hell! It busted open on impact! The Or. Spec then took a camera and shot several photos of Fisher lying there, apparently dead! The Or. Spec then looked down at Fisher and Fisher looked up and the soldiers above who had placed their right extended fingers to their foreheads and saluted Colonel Fisher Harrison!

"Kuwait Command, this is Merciless One”

“Merciless one? That is not your call sign.”

“Target is down! I repeat target is down!”

“Do you have verification?”

“That’s affirmative, Sir and we have just killed one of our own and have earned any call sign we chose!”

“You are to maintain radio darkness!”

“Sir, after we get this bird safely to her nest, consider the both of us as having resigned our commissions and never fly for this force again! And you can then take your darkness and stick it up your ass! Sir! Merciless One, over and out!”

“Come in Mercy One, Mercy One, do you read me...?”

The chopper lifted high into the sky and flew away! Fisher saw it leaving, growing smaller and then vanish! Fisher rolled over on his back and looked straight up and screamed!

“What have we become!?” and his eyes forced themselves open!

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