The Maverick Experiment

The US is involved in the War on Terror but must follow the rules for conventional warfare in a sometimes unconventional war. Along the border of Afghanistan, in Pakistan, is a providence that is full of Taliban. American and coalition forces can not cross the border with out Pakistani permission which is almost impossible to get and by the time it is given, the target has moved on. This border isn’t so difficult for the Taliban to cross. Brides and inefficiency are common place as well as sympathizers.

To combat the inability to get the bad guys without tons of red tape, the Maverick Experiment is born. This small team will be totally unofficial and move quickly to accomplish their mission and then get out. Nothing will be in writing. Nothing will be acknowledged if the higher ups are questioned.

Leading the first team is Derek Stevens. He’s fluent in several languages and has spent time in Afghanistan. His expertise in weapons and interrogations is outstanding. The men assigned to work with him are equally impressive. They will be able to cause a lot of chaos and disruption if they aren’t found out or killed!

In this debut novel, Drew Berquist takes his readers into a world most will never see in a way that makes you feel as if you are part of the team. Broke down into reports by day, time and place, each section has an impact as the precise data is given and the interactions are reviled.

The team is lead by Derek and most of the story is given from his point of view. The only time that it is not is when higher headquarters is involved. While this doesn’t give insight on the team members, it does give you Derek’s impressions and makes him a more well-rounded character. That is not to say that the other characters are cardboard cutouts because they are not. There is just not as much depth to them.

The writing style may not be to some readers taste. It is very point blank with little emotion input. Plans to kill are done with attention to detail and without attachment. Collateral damage is expected and not worried about. Acceptance of what must be done to reach the goal is a given.

The dialog and interaction between the characters is extremely realistic. There is little reflection of what is back at home. The characters are well aware of the danger they are in. They live in the here and now. This isn’t to say there isn’t stress but that there are ways that they relieve it such as gambling and/or drinking.

Awesome opening book to what should be a terrific series. Real life is truly reflected in the Maverick Experiment and many will wish or hope that such teams actually exist. This book is not for those who can not stand the nitty gritty of war, terror and bloodshed for all are essential to this hard packing story. Get in, get out and get it done.

Book Blurb for The Maverick Experiment

Breaking all the rules, a battle-hardened group of fighters confront Afghan terrorists on their own terms.

In wartime, some operations have to be conducted outside the normal lines of authority. Nowhere is this more true than in modern Afghanistan, the setting for this riveting military thriller.

Derek Stevens is an experienced interrogator fluent in multiple languages and highly trained in weapons and escape and evasion techniques. He is the ideal candidate to lead a crew on a top-secret mission into Afghanistan to neutralize Taliban leaders. That mission, as it turns out, is much more challenging than even he had expected.

Stevens' assignment leads him and his maverick warriors through the most dangerous prison in Kabul and into the Pakistani heartland of the terrorist resistance. Working deep undercover, they deliver tough justice to the world's toughest terrorists.

Drawn from the author's own experiences with the U.S. intelligence and Special Operations communities, The Maverick Experiment reveals the inner workings of the international intelligence machine and the gritty, blood-soaked reality of life on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2011 5.00