Books & Literature

Book Review: Savage Son, by Jack Carr

THRILLER: In his most visceral and heart-pounding thriller yet, Jack Carr explores the darkest instincts of humanity through the eyes of a man who has seen both the best and the worst of it.

A well-paced and heart-pumping game of cat-and-mouse that cements Carr’s position in the thriller genre.

Jack Carr’s Savage Son is the third novel in The Terminal List series, featuring former Navy Seal, James Reece. 

The novel begins, like its initial counterpart, with an action-packed and violent interaction between the hunter and hunted. The main difference here is that the hunted is a human being and the hunter is doing it for the thrill of the chase and the kill.

The hunter in question is the son of a ‘Bratva’(Russian Mafia) Senior Member, the savage son of the title. He’s been sent after Reece by a former CIA Agent, a traitor who now enjoys the safety and privilege of the new Russia. He also has a long-standing connection to Reece’s father and Reece’s previous actions have impacted his status with the SVR.

Reece is recovering from major surgery, reconnecting with friends who have been there for him at his most desperate, and feeling that the way forward is one of promise. That is, up until his idyllic retreat is shattered by an ambush force that is intent on killing not only Reece, but his most cherished and beloved friends and former comrades.

Once the threat is revealed, the tables turn and so begins a race to be the first to succeed, in a live-or-die battle. With an adversary with a formidable lust for blood and a knowledge of the hunt, this is a challenge that even the hardened James Reece finds challenging.

The novel also allows for further personal development of its central character, both in his current personal relationships and looking back on his familial history. The relationships of fathers and sons also forms a significant through line, exploring the direct and indirect paternal impacts on the nature of the offspring.

Savage Son is Carr’s best novel, to date. He has found his form, in balance and pace; something that has been on the cusp, but missing from the previous two novels, which have drawn out personal details, to the detriment of the promised action. Now that he has cemented the nature of his central character, Carr allows the reader to focus on the intensity of the threat and weaves a tight narrative.

Once again, the novel has been through the U.S. Department of Defense scrutineers, but the impact and disruption are not as overt as they were in True Believer, which is much needed. A highly detailed glossary at the end of the book is again included for the detail-hungry.

The first and second books–The Terminal List and True Believer–are also currently available. 

Carr’s fourth book, The Devil’s Hand, will be released in June, 2021. 

Reviewed by Glen Christie

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster
Released: 3 March 2021
RRP: $19.99

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