Books & Literature

Book Review: True Believer, by Jack Carr

THRILLER: Now a reluctant tool of the United States government, Reece must travel the globe, targeting terrorist leaders and unravelling a geopolitical conspiracy that will have worldwide repercussions.

An emotion-charged follow-up, weaving in up-to-the-minute threats, in the style of the later Tom Clancy novels

Jack Carr’s True Believer picks up just after the end of its predecessor and the first James Reece novel, The Terminal List. 

Reece is at sea, both figuratively and literally, having escaped the ramifications of his actions in the preceding novel. Unbeknownst to him, his life has been given a new lease, but due to no telephonic capacity, he has not heard the message left for him. 

Reece takes refuge with the father of the only man he has left to trust and begins what he believes to be his last days, protecting defenceless animals from unscrupulous poachers. While back in the Western World, a brutal and merciless terrorist attack sends shockwaves through the United Kingdom and around the world.

When he least expects it, the US Government approaches Reece and offers him the opportunity for redemption and, potentially, an opportunity to reclaim his life in a multitude of ways. The offer is also extended to those who assisted him in his quest for revenge and sets Reece on a path to reveal the true motivation for the attacks.

The title of the novel comes from a quote attributed to a U.S. Special Forces Trainer, but as recent history has shown, the true believer can be a saviour or a destroyer. It ascribes to any individual the drive and determination to win at all costs, with no consideration of his sacrifices. Once again, Carr has given his second novel a multi-functional title, which brands a number of characters, including the main one. 

It is a slow trek, from the opening, to the recruitment of Jack Reece. This novel spends an inordinate amount of time with Reece tormenting himself over his past decisions and the losses outlined in the early pages of the first novel, before bringing him back into active service. 

As with The Terminal ListTrue Believer has also been through the U.S. Department of Defense scrutineers’ hands and includes a not insignificant number of redactions. These redactions become overwhelmingly disruptive and annoying and have the reader wondering why he didn’t fictionalise more, to avoid this pattern of flow disruption. A highly detailed glossary at the end of the book will most definitely satisfy the detail-hungry.

The first and third books–The Terminal List and Savage Son–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: 2 December 2020
RRP: $19.99

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