Shooting Gallery (Dewey Andreas #7.5), by Ben Coes

Seven stars

Ahead of this summer’s latest full-length Dewey Andreas thriller, Ben Coes teases the reader with a short story with his high-octane protagonist. Andreas is down in Mexico, helping to facilitate a ransom payment and letting off a little steam. However, whenever Dewey wants to relax, trouble seems to follow him and it’s a bloodbath to some degree. When the newly sworn-in US vice-president’s son is kidnapped and held in Mexico, a few calls are made and Dewey is tasked with trying to facilitate a covert recovery. Heart still pumping from a barroom brawl, Dewey targets the likely location of the victims and sets a plan in motion. A tense situation could get worse, unless Dewey’s on his toes throughout the harrowing rescue attempt. Coes whets the appetite of his series fans and offers a teaser of the upcoming novel, sure to be as exciting as ever. Those who love Dewey Andreas pieces will surely enjoy this story, which helps lessen the waiting time until the explosive operative can entertain again.

I enjoy Ben Coes and his writing, hoping that his ideas continue to propel Dewey Andreas to new heights. While this was a short piece, the reader is tossed into the middle of the adventure and given no time to relax. Andreas is a rock-hard operative who just wants to enjoy a little downtime, though it seems to pass him by at every turn. With a new political player in the narrative, one can only wonder if this will prove to be a thorn in Andreas’ side over the next few novels. However, at this point, the narrative helps develop a few characters effectively enough to keep the reader satisfied, if only for a short time. The story was decent, though its brevity turned the rescue mission into something as swift as a flash-bang grenade reaction, tying off all the needed loose ends before the reader can truly enjoy what’s taking place. One might say that the bar fight that preceded this mission had more content to it, leaving the climactic event seem almost an essential afterthought. That being said, it has me ready to devour the next Dewey Andreas novel, which awaits me now.

Kudos, Mr. Coes, for this short piece that pulls no punches. I am happy to have stumbled upon this one and hope the novel is as exciting as this short piece.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: