John Ling, Vengeance
One of the 24 stories is a novel by John Ling called Vengeance. And if this story is any indication of the quality you’ll find in the other stories, it will be ninety-nine cents well spent.
The story features Maya Raines as a CIA operative with strong ties to Malaysia—and a tendency to go off the reservation. Her driving motivation is revenge for her father’s murder. Maya is tough but compassionate, and her nemesis, a Sunni operative named Jamal Sidek, is the most well-rounded character in the book. You’ll find many of the expected tropes here: the boss who both hates Maya’s rogue tendencies but loves her tenacity; the wisecracking team members; and the woman serving as Maya’s guide who she never quite trusts—but never quite mistrusts either.
The plot charges forward from the get-go: the threat of Maya being exposed at a checkpoint, a rooftop chase, a daring helicopter rescue—Ling puts the pedal to the metal from the first scene and doesn’t let up until the epilogue. It’s a page-turning, immersive book, and I couldn’t believe that I had finished the book so quickly when it was over. Definitely recommended.
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