Publisher: Times Square Publishing
Date of publication: December 17th, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Series: Paladine Political Thriller
Russian Holiday — Book 2
Traffick Stop—Book 3
Where you can find this book: Amazon
Paladine, terrorism’s worst enemy, is back in this sequel to the hit political thriller.
From the best-selling & award winning author critics hail as “one of the strongest thriller writers on our scene” comes the continuation of the unforgettable story of an unlikely “anti-hero,” Robert Garcia, a dangerous and unfeeling assassin of jihadist terrorists, has been exalted by social media as “Paladine”, a living paladin whose mission is to rid the earth of evil for the betterment of mankind. In this installment of the series, Paladine crosses paths with a Russian assassin, which puts him in the middle of the controversial new cold war between the United States and Russia.
Russian Holiday starts with Robert Garcia, aka Paladine, doing a covert op mission. It is a sanctioned hit on General Abu Muslim al-Basara, a former member of Saddam Hussein’s Royal Guard and now an Isis terrorist in the city of Aleppo. The hit itself goes off without a hitch, but Robert ran into problems with getting out of there.
The pickup vehicle wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Luckily, Robert had a Plan B. A motorcycle that is stashed nearby. As Robert leaves, he is followed by a truck with terrorists hell-bent on getting to him. Desperate to escape, he shoots down a Black Hawk helicopter that was coming to get him to buy him a little time. Not that it worked, he ends up with a group of Isis militants.
After suffering a bad beating, which broke his nose, Robert is taken to their headquarters, where he is prepped for live execution. Right before his execution, the base is attacked. Robert is saved by a jeep full of Russian soldiers who were involved in the raid of the base.
After contacting his boss (who did screw up on the pick up) and informing him that he was on vacation, Robert decides to go with one of the soldiers to Moscow as part of his vacation. But, before he heads there, he goes to a bank in Iskenderun, where he maintains a safe deposit box. That box has several identities, money, phones, and a gun. Robert only takes the money, a passport, and one of the phones before going to Moscow with the soldier.
Back in the CIA headquarters, an alarm goes off, alerting Robert’s handler that Robert has gone off the grid. At the same time, the head of the CIA is getting briefed about the same situation. He is upset and worried because even though Robert was an illegal operative, he could still be tortured and could still give the Russians secret information.
While that drama is happening, Robert is having a grand old-time in Russia. He and Lyosha (the solider) are becoming good friends, well as good as a friend as he can be with a Russian. Lyosha has generously provided him with an apartment, clothes, and money. They go dancing every night, and it was at one of those dance clubs, Robert meets Svetlana (or Lana), a beautiful Russian girl. He forms an immediate connection with her.
After discovering a tail on him during a date with Lana, Robert decides that Moscow has become too hot for him and heads to Paris, where he has an apartment. His boss, the man with no name, is sitting in his apartment and has an assignment for him in Paris. Robert argues that he never does jobs where he lives. The man with no name tells him “too bad, we own you” and leaves after giving Robert the specifics on the job.
I enjoyed reading this book. It kept to its thriller roots. I liked seeing Robert being portrayed as a human being and enjoying himself while he was on vacation. He was able to relax and enjoy being with a friend. It made him more human to me. Is it wrong that when Lyosha spoke, I got the Russian accent right in my head? Not sure how it would sound if I did it in real life, though. Probably horrible.
The action in this book was great. I was kept on edge with what Robert was going to do next with his assignments, and when he executed them, it was perfect.
The ending was somewhat anticlimactic, but it wasn’t bad. Having grown up in a large Greek community and hearing malaka used all the time, I giggled when I read it. The way the book ended, I am wondering if there will be a book 3.
I would give Russian Holiday an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Russian Holiday. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**