*Rucka, Greg. Alpha: A Jad Bell Novel. Mulholland: Little, Brown. May 2012. c.320p. ISBN 978-0-316-18228-7. $24.99. Fiction

Rucka gets his new series featuring Ex-Delta Force Master Sergeant Jad Bell off to a smashing start with this pitch-perfect thriller. Bell, a former sniper team leader, has taken a security job at WilsonVille, a world-class theme park in California. Unbeknown to Jad, one of the park’s costumed characters, Pooch (aka Gabriel), also ex-U.S. Army, is a sleeper agent for an Uzbek thug serving a man with global terrorist connections. On the very day that Jad’s ex-wife and their deaf daughter plan to visit the park on a school field trip, Jad is warned about a dirty bomb hidden on the premises. [editorial cuts at this point!] VERDICT This lean, mean thriller with just the right amount of character development and unexpected complications will appeal to all who enjoy this genre but particularly to readers who like a strong hero along the lines of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Highly recommended.

Library Journal, 137, no. 4 (March 1, 2012), 89.

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