Greg Rucka


" accomplished author with the ability to keep the reader involved and interested from start to finish"


Jonathan 'Jad' Bell has spent a lifetime in the US army. He can be relied on to get the job done, whatever happens, whatever the cost. So when someone needs to go undercover at the nation's biggest amusement park, Jad is the obvious choice. Aside from dealing with fights and missing children, his main responsibility is to prevent the nightmare scenario from coming to pass.

This is the nightmare scenario: A group of well-trained, highly motivated terrorists infiltrate the park. They cut off all escape routes. They take hostages. They ensure every camera in the world is trained on Wilsonville...and then they turn it into a bloodbath.

And on the day the nightmare becomes real, Jad and his team are all that stands between a band of ruthless killers and thousands of innocent people... including Jad's estranged wife and daughter.

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My first introduction to Rucka gives me the impression that he is an accomplished author with the ability to keep the reader involved and interested from start to finish. However, whilst I fully enjoyed the writing and plot, I did find the seemingly constant references to the theme park's characters' actions and dialogue somewhat unnecessary. I was expecting some twist at the end that would have explained this superfluous information but this was lacking. The protagonist, Jad Bell is an interesting character. Enough information is given about his past and history to feel a connection but not so much that he became more important than the plot and supporting characters. I did find that the summary of the book and why everyone took the actions they did and the aftermath of the attack was hurried and not fully explained, but as the book is the first in a new series I am hoping more information will be forthcoming in future books. There are a few unlikely coincidences in the book, and these together with the overuse of the theme park characters took the edge off an otherwise excellent book. However, 'Alpha' still comes highly recommended.

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