by Chris Goff is a fast-paced thriller that has action, intrigue,
sprinkled with some technology.
In this second installment of the series,
the featured character, Raisa Jordan, a U.S. Diplomatic Security
Service agent, heads to Ukraine to investigate her father’s
death. While there she is side-tracked when People’s
Republic Flight 91 crashes, killing everyone on board. Notably,
among the two-hundred dead passengers and flight crew, is
George McClasky, a veteran DSS agent who was escorting a Chinese-American
prisoner, accused of treason, home from China. She is assigned
to investigate the cause of the crash, and quickly realizes
that the downing was no accident. The technology used to down
the plane was part of a top-secret weapon being developed
by several countries, including the United States. The Russians
successfully tested the “railgun” on the plane
and intend to use it against others in an attempt to take
over Ukraine. Her investigation draws the attention of Nye
Davis of Reuters news agency, who agrees to help her uncover
who is behind the crash and what are their motives.
The author found DSS agents to be “be cowboys. They
are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy (FLECT).
A true story was told to me about one agent who went to a
Sheik’s palace, banged on the door, and even though
he and the two Marines he brought with him were extremely
outnumbered, demanded that the person he sought after come
with him. Another time, one decided to spy on terrorists in
the middle of the night.”
Since settings play an important part in most thrillers, Goff
traveled to Ukraine, “I went there to get a feel for
the setting with my youngest daughter who is a school teacher.
As soon as we got off the plane someone asked if we want to
go to the front lines? We could do it for $50 and the driver
will have a gun, as well as a flak jacket and helmet for us.
I said ‘ok,’ but my daughter put her foot down
so we did not go. When in Kiev, at least half of the people
are tied to Russia and are pro-Russian. Whereas, in Lviv,
on the western side of the country, they identify with the
Polish people. They would not acknowledge anyone who spoke
Russian. They actually had in the markets Putin toilet paper.”
A very relevant book quote, “She viewed journalists
like hyenas-offensive and sneaky predators feasting on the
sensationalism of a moment…Too many times the real story
was lost or ignored, usurped by moments taken out of context
and distorted by the reporter’s own bias.” Today
it would be called fake news. Since Raisa is a law enforcement
agent she expresses the feeling of a lot of others who shy
away from the media. They feel journalists always put them
under a microscope and they never worry about who gets hurt
in the process.
Red Sky is a very riveting and believable thriller.
Goff allows readers to learn about an agency that gets very