Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Overwatch, by Matthew Betley

Description: When Logan West impulsively answers a dead man’s ringing phone, he triggers a global race against the clock to track down an unknown organization searching for an Iraqi artifact that is central to a planned attack in the Middle East—one that will draw the United States into a major conflict with Iran.


Logan, a former Marine officer, is quickly contracted as a “consultant” to assist the FBI as part of a special task force bent on stopping the shadowy operatives, whatever the cost. The battles are nonstop, from the plains of the Midwest, to mansions in northern Mexico, to the war-torn Al-Anbar province, pitting an international team against trained mercenaries employed by the world’s largest private security contractor...whose owner has a personal vendetta against the US government. Meanwhile, Logan is battling his own demons, especially the trauma of the ambush that his Force Recon unit suffered at an insurgent torture compound in Fallujah in 2004, which threatens to destroy everything he holds dear.


With high-stakes and fully-realized characters, Overwatch is a thriller unlike any you’ve read before: deftly plotted, up-to-the-minute, and impossible to put down.


Matthew Betley has managed to do the nearly impossible: stand out in the crowded action thriller field. Logan West is the next great action here, and Overwatch, Betley’s new book, is a great start to the series.


Overwatch starts the action on page one and keeps it going to the last page. Logan West and a handful of main characters are introduced and sketched out quickly, but with enough depth to hook you and keep you interested. Battle-scarred veterans with the intelligence and experience to make them credible and dangerous. The scars are emotional as well as physical and one of the things I appreciated most about this book was that Betley didn’t ignore the flaws in his heroes, particularly Logan West. His problems are real, they have consequences and he has to deal with them or be done in by them.


The action in Overwatch travels across the United States, into Mexico and on the other side of the world in Iraq. The enemy is smart, tough, and with a plan that is both realistic and frightening. Betley ties Logan West’s past and present together in a clever way that explains both why he was targeted and why he has the skills and motivation to pursue the enemy. The battle scenes are gritty, exciting and well-written. Mike Benson, Logan’s friend in the FBI is an interesting character that I would have liked to have known a little more about. John Quick, Logan’s old gunnery sergeant, is a tough as nails old soldier and a great character in his own right. Put them all together and you’ve got one great book.


Great characters, great writing, interesting plot and non-stop action. That’s your formula and Matthew Betley nails it. Sign me up for the next Logan West adventure. Fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Taylor, Lee Child, Brad Thor have a new series to check out. Overwatch is highly recommended.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.