The brilliant new Micah Dalton thriller from the New York Times best-selling author. In Vienna for a top-secret meeting with ex-Mossad agent Issadore Galan, Micah Dalton senses that something is very wrong on the streets of the Ring District. Dalton's aggressive response to enemy surveillance makes him the target of a complex plot with the potential to shatter America's strategic alliances with the rest of the civilized world. Planned by an unknown foreign power and executed by a scarred Serbian killer known only as Smoke, the conspiracy pits Dalton against an ultrasecret U.S. agency and a cadre of trained KGB killers. In a blistering trajectory of events that takes him from Venice to the Balkans and the barren shoreline of North Africa, Dalton pushes himself to the edge of sanity in a desperate attempt to save his honor-and his life.
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Having read or listened to all of his previous books, I was pleased to see David Stone return Micah Dalton in The Skorpion Directive. The author features interesting, mostly believable characters in fast moving yet well-put-together plots. The protagonist, Micah Dalton, and his allies confront great bad guys in conflicts that have current context. The reader, Jason Culp, adds to the experience with a great range of voices and accents. I believe Audible should better promote this writer. If you like espionage novels and audio books, I highly recommend Skorpion Directive.
First, I think that I should tell you why you might 𝙣o𝙩 want to purchase "The Skorpion Directive," as this novel will not suit everyone. Don't buy this audiobook if you have not yet listened its Micah Dalton series predecessors -- starting with "The Echelon Vendetta" (2007) -- because you will miss out on the continuity and some of the allusions. Secondly, don't buy this audiobook if you object to right-wing proselytizing. Yes, David Stone has a right-of-center political stance ... but, then, so do Tom Clancy, Patrick Robinson, Stephen Hunter, and most of the other Military Thriller writers. I consider myself to have pretty liberal sensibilities -- and I am sticking to them! -- but I would regret missing out on these writers who, despite their right-wing stances, offer us some pretty exciting stories. Stone, in particular, is not only a good story-teller, but also a surprisingly good writer. Some of his descriptions qualify as poetry ... but he does proselytize:
"Here, at the end of my life, I've come to realize that the only reliable law is the law of unintended consequences. This new administration [referring to the Obama administration], for the most part, is neither stupid nor blindly partisan ... although some of the younger staffers at the White House seem to think it clever to act like junkyard dogs, as if political combat were the same as actual combat. But, then, when the young Turks in any new government aren't prating to their elders, they're preening in their shaving mirrors. They all share the same delusions of adequacy. The previous administration persuaded itself that it had the power to impose a kind of Junior-League Republicanism on murderous tribal theocracies. The new one imagines that it can impose the asinine Marcusian sophistries of Norm Chompsky and the Harvard faculty of humanities on the people of America; as if Socialism had not already been tried many times before, only to collapse in ruins -- frequently very bloody ruins. And God only knows what sort of grotesque ideological calliope the next army of enthusiasts will ride in on, horns blatting and banners ablaze. My consolation is that I'll probably not be around when the wheels fall off again."
In his Micah Dalton series, Stone consistently pursues an agenda: The C.I.A. should be allowed to do its job, unencumbered with liberal fetters. He makes a pretty good case for this agenda, showing through Micah Dalton's tribulations how the C.I.A. agents are hampered by government restrictions. In his Micah Dalton series, Stone has Dalton endure some hair-raising, terrifyingly realistic adventures. Don't buy 𝙖𝙣𝙮 of Stone's Micah Dalton audiobooks if graphic descriptions of violence make you queazy.
The narrator of "The Skorpion Directive," Jason Culp, has a slightly odd voice, but very good acting skills. He has many voices and accents at his command to distinguish all the characters from one another. I would recommend "The Skorpion Directive" to anyone who enjoys the Military Thriller genre, with the above-mentioned caveats.