Strike Back is an action movie of a book. Written by former SAS sergeant “Chris Ryan”, this book was the genesis of the Sky/Cinemax show of the same name. The book is similar to the Strike Back tv show but a little closer in tone to the action novels written by Alex Berenson or Lee Child. The story isn’t quite up to the level as Berenson’s John Wells books, and Strike Back’s John Porter isn’t as interesting as the stoic Jack Reacher, but the book does display the author’s real-world military experience. It’s a fun, if not not completely original, read.
The protagonist, John Porter, was once an elite soldier in the SAS. However, after a botched mission, his life spiraled out of control. When we first meet him, he is homeless with an unquenchable thirst for vodka. His family has left him behind because of his destructive habits. Through a series of events I will leave for you to discover, Porter ends up utilizing his military training to try and protect his country one more time. Just like on the tv show, Porter’s work takes him all over the world to exotic locales. The reader sits next to Porter as he rides in shoddy vans across Europe and Asia and lurks in dive bars and cafes.
While the book isn’t quite tactical, one of the strongest qualities to Ryan’s writing is his ability to quickly lay out a scene and tactical action within it. Those sections remind me most of the Rainbow Six book or video games. Characters aren’t the most fleshed out, although I empathize with Porter.
If you like fun and forgettable action reads, you might enjoy this book.