No Fortunate Son by Brad
Taylor is a riveting thriller that explores several moral
issues. Using the specific song by Creedence Clearwater Revival
concentrating on the line "I ain't no Senator's son,"
the author puts a twist to the song. The theme centers around
how much manpower should be used to rescue a VIP or a VIP's
child when kidnapped. In this case, key members of the US
government have a child serving in the military who has been
captured by terrorists.
Taylor noted, "I know the military put enormous effort
in attempting to free Bergdahl before he was released. Regardless
if he was a traitor or not he was relatively a nobody. That
got me thinking, how far would an administration go if someone
like John McCain or Joe Biden's son, who are also serving
in the military, were captured. Are they considered more important
than any one soldier?"
A developing situation has the Task Force, a unit created
to contain terrorist plots and global threats, now attempting
a hostage rescue. A terrorist organization has targeted five
military relatives of key members of the US government, including
the vice president's son, the Texas Governor's husband, the
son of the Secretary of Defense, and the children of the chairman
of the Senate Intelligence committee. The seizure of hostages
was far-reaching and meticulously coordinated, and the full
extent of the threat, and potential demands, has thrown the
government into turmoil. They face a terrible choice: Cease
counter-terrorist operations, or watch hostages die one by
one. Besides exploring how much is a single life worth, the
book has non-stop action as Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill
try to rescue the Task Force's leaders niece, Kylie Hale who
Pike regards as a daughter figure.
The author commented, "I have seen a lot of people who
are willing to deflate everything the Defense Department does
into one big bubble. They just do not understand the enormous
complexity and that there is no monolific 'they.' I used the
example of the commander, Colonel Kurt Hale's sister, Kathy,
who can best be described as a 'peace-nik' having her head
in the sand. Once her daughter went missing she had no moral
problem doing whatever is necessary to rescue Kylie. She basically
turned a blind eye."
Since Taylor retired as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel
after more than 20 years of experience in the U.S. Army Infantry
and Special Forces, he is able to use his experiences to write
realistic thrillers. Other issues he explores in this book
are the rules of engagement, what are the moralistic implications,
and how much technology should be used. It also appears that
Jennifer is being heavily influenced by Pike's way of thinking,
do whatever is necessary to ensure a mission's success.
He is hoping that readers understand the two point of views
presented through Jennifer and Pike's eyes. "Jennifer
bases her decisions on the theories of Immanuel Kant, deontological
ethical theory. It basically states that people action's are
bound by the moral will. For example, you will never kill
a civilian; you will never steal, even if it means stealing
a loaf of bread would feed a starving family. Pike on the
other hand believes in John Stuart Mill's theory of Utilitarianism.
Actions should be done for the greater good. I'm not taking
sides on the torture debate, but some on the greater good
side would say it's acceptable to torture.
No Fortunate Son is a gripping and insightful novel.
He skillfully switches between third-person narration and
Pike's first-person point of view. The plot and characters
are so very well developed readers will not want to put the
He also gave a heads up about his next book, Insider Threat,
which deals with the Islamic State. The Israeli Mossad agent,
Shoshana will return as well as her moral compass, Aaron.
However they will be working with the Task Force off the books
so no fingerprint can be traced back to Mossad.
Reviews of other titles in this series
of Rage #6
Fortunate Son #7
Insider Threat #8