Chasing the Lion
reviewed by Lou Jacobs
Jump feet first into this relentless hi-octane action thriller, featuring General Garrett Sinclair – somewhat of a hybrid between Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher,” Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry,” and Daniel Silva’s “Gabriel Allon.”
Ever since COVID-19 outbreak, part of Sinclair’s responsibilities has been commanding the counterterrorism task force, and neutralizing threats like Iranian General Dariush Parizad, who has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors bin-Laden, al-Baghdadi and Soleimani. Dariush is now the heir apparent to Qasem Soleimani and is deemed the number-one terrorist in the world and has assumed the mantle of commander of the Quds Force. His hatred of America is personal. As a youth, he witnessed the annihilation of his father by a drone strike during the ill fated Operation Eagle Claw in 1980.
In this unsuccessful attempt to rescue the hostages from Iran, an errant drone hit near his home in Tabas and obliterated his father. The site of devastation was visited by Ayatollah Khomeini who proclaimed that Dariush would be known as The Lion of Tabas. Since then he has progressively risen in the ranks of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard to leadership, with the goal of raining hell onto the “Great Satan” nation of the United States.
A long-term plan was initiated by Soleimani, with the strategic infiltration of the US by “sleeper cells”. They have been in place long enough to establish citizenship, which allowed them to purchase and accumulate an armory of assault weapons, pistols, and ammunition.
Gathered intel through multiple agencies, has linked Parizad with the experimentation and development of agent known as Demon Rain. It has the hallucinogenic properties of LSD with the added effect of potential mind manipulation, which is triggered through images broadcast on the victim’s personal cell phone. It can also be mixed with sarin gas for greater lethality. Although most effective by direct injection, it apparently had been successfully aerosolized for greater impact. It’s potential usage and effect is staggering.
Parizad considers the US ripe for attack. The country has never been so divided and divisive politically and is still reeling on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic. What better time to wreak havoc with the US about to change command – on the precipice of the inauguration of the first woman president.
General A.J. Tata (retired) proves to be a masterful storyteller, and weaves a convoluted, action packed narrative, brimming with authentic action sequences (as only told through the eyes of someone who actually has experienced the raw devastation of war). Tata expertly layers multidimensional characterizations onto both Sinclair and Parizad. The result is a riveting and deadly “cat and mouse” encounter that is truly cinematic and escalates into an exhilarating denouement. In my mind’s eye …. a young Clint Eastwood plays Sinclair while Omar Sharif plays Parizad. Hopefully further exploits of Garrett Sinclair will follow.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review.