The Shield (Blake Jordan #6), by Ken Fite

Eight stars

Adding to his high-octane series, Ken Fite delivers another winner that will keep readers enthralled as they make their way through the sixth novel. Blake Jordan is visiting the White House with his family. While they enjoy conversation and banter, an explosion rocks the East Wing, sending panic throughout the building. While Jordan is curious to find out what is going on, information is sparse, particularly since he no longer works within the intelligence community in any form. It’s soon determined that someone has accessed White House air and ground space with drones that carry some explosives. How this could have happened has Jordan and many others baffled. Called into temporary service to help stop the threat, Jordan discovers the perpetrator, but also come to realise the true mastermind is a man he knows well form his past. Meanwhile, a man with significant tech experience has been kidnapped and is forced to hack into some of America’s most powerful drones. With the terrorist group in control of the drones and weapons, it’s time to destroy parts of America unless a key demand is met in shot order. Jordan must work quickly, as there is little time to waste and for some, death is no impediment. Fast-paced and full of action, Ken Fite shows why this series is worth the reader’s time. Recommended to those who enjoy political thrillers, as well as the reader keen to find a short read that does not wane in its action.

I stumbled upon this series through Amazon and devoured the first few books in as many days. Ken Fite has an amazing way of telling a story without the need of much window dressing. He gets to the point and ramps up the action from the opening page. Working with Blake Jordan again, Fite builds on his past experience to put him where he is now and then pushes the protagonist a little more. There is mention of some backstory, but much of the book revolves around his gritty abilities as he seeks to defend the country he holds dear. Other characters, both returning and new arrivals, work well to keep the story moving at a quick pace. While there is the overdone aspect of Islamic terrorism, it is handled in a way that will not leave the reader feeling they have read it all before. The story moves quickly, much like the other books in the series, which only adds to its greatness. Binge reading this collection is not only an enjoyable experience, but also easy to accomplish. Ken Fite is emerging as a high-class author in a genre that is supersaturated already. I can only hope he has many more ideas for his fans to enjoy.

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for another winner. I keep my eyes peeled for when you are writing and am so pleased to have been able to read this so soon after publication.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Homeland (Blake Jordan #5), by Ken Fite

Nine stars

Ken Fite is back with his latest thriller, hot off the presses. Picking up months after the previous novel ended, Fite has much to explain in this latest piece. When a Chicago park soon becomes the scene of the largest mass shooting in US history, all eyes turn to the White House to see how President Keller will react. A native of the Windy City, he rushes to mobilise and entrusts the plans to his loyal Chief of Staff, Emma Ross. She has everything ready to go, but is interrupted by a phone call that forces her to leave her post. This has become a common occurrence, so much so that Keller confronts her about it. While she is able to dismiss the comments, Ross realises that she will have to be more careful in the future. Meanwhile, in London, Blake Jordan and Jami Davis have been living off the grid, using their aliases after an orchestrated ‘death’ months before. When they are approached and summoned back to Washington, Blake wants nothing to do with it. However, upon learning that Jami’s sister and brother-in-law have been victims of the shooting, she agrees to rush back, with Blake Jordan demanding to go as well. When they arrive, Emma Ross is anything but pleased to see them, particularly Blake, but has come to understand the severity of the situation. While he no longer exists, Blake has a way of twisting arms and get himself temporarily assigned to work on the shooting, back with the Department of Domestic Counterterrorism (DDC). President Keller is eager to meet with the security guard who disarmed and neutralised the shooter, something his Chief of Staff is happy to coordinate. A slew of agencies are trying to vie for control of the investigation, while there are rumours that some eyewitnesses saw a second shooter on the scene. As Blake and his Homeland Security partner, Tom Parker, seek to dig a little deeper, they discover these witnesses are being killed. There appears to be a tie to some rogue members of Chicago PD, but could there be more to this homecoming for Jordan? Fite has done it again, pulling readers into the middle of a fantastic thriller that does not leave any time to rest. Recommended for those who have enjoyed the previous novels in the series, as well as the reader who loves a quick political thriller.

Ken Fite’s novels landed on my Kindle not too long ago and I was quickly enthralled with the premise. These are pieces that mix the best elements of the American political system with some domestic security issues. The novels are easily devoured in a single day (as I have done) or over a period of time, though their pace almost forces the reader to keep going so as not to lose the momentum. Blake Jordan remains a strong protagonist, able to pull himself away from oblivion and back into the middle of another political situation. Jami Davis receives some stronger attention here, though her focus is on familial issues and not the investigation. Still, she works well to inject just enough to the story to keep Blake on task. The handful of central secondary characters, both recurring and new faces, help to push the story along. Of particular note, Emma Ross and Tom Parker receive much ‘page time’ in their own rights, with some backstory and character development throughout. Fite has done well to balance the story so that not all of it is seen through his protagonist’s eyes, which enriches an already stellar narrative. The plot of the story is quite straightforward, though there are many twists at key moments to keep the reader from guessing where things will go. Fite knows how to keep the reader on their toes, particularly with another wonderful cliffhanger. One can only hope that there will be many more of these novels, as they are perfect for binge-reading (as I did with the first four) or a filler novel between two books on a reader’s ever-teetering ‘to be read’ pile.

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for another stellar novel. I hope many will discover your work on Amazon in short order.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Rules of Engagement (Blake Jordan #4), by Ken Fite

Nine stars

Ken Fite continues to impress with a political thriller that hooks the reader in the early chapters. I discovered Fite by accident earlier this week and was blown away by his writing, which made reading the entire Blake Jordan series a must. Having decided to isolate himself from those closest to him, Blake Jordan is all but off the radar. However, a series of cyberattacks that come in the form of ransomware has Jordan making his way to the Washington Field Office for the Department of Domestic Counterterrorism (DDC), his former place of work. Awkwardly facing his former partner and love interest, Agent Jami Davis, Jordan tries to prove that he can help, having many of the skills to track down these hackers. When a bomb blast rocks the Field Office, Jordan is fingered as a potential suspect, though his contacts within the intelligence community soon prove that to be a false lead. It would appear someone is trying to target him, as he is tied to many of the events taking place across Washington and back in his native Chicago. When a New York Times reporter begins digging around and making some strong allegations, Jordan goes to his boss, President Keller, to diffuse the situation. It is then that he learns that he’s been deceived and that a high-ranking terror suspect, presumed dead in an attack from months ago, is actually still alive and being held covertly. It is then that the pieces begin to fall into place, Jordan’s being targeted by the Russians for his actions six months earlier and nothing but the return of the prisoner will end the ongoing attacks. There appears to be a mole within the Administration or the Intelligence community, feeding both the media and these Russian terrorists key pieces of information that could vilify Jordan and even end President Keller’s career prematurely. With Jordan on the run and Agent Davis trying to help, it will take nothing short of all they have to bring down the Russian cell and discover the mole. The president’s future depends on Jordan’s abilities, but sometimes the present is more important than what is to come! Fite does a masterful job yet again pulling together this novel and offers up a wonderful cliffhanger on which series fans can ponder. Easily read as a standalone—as is said in dust jacket blurbs, though I am beginning to doubt this assumption—but a wonderful complement to the previous novels in the series, should the reader wish to embark on a larger adventure. Highly recommended to those who love a good thriller, particularly the reader who has read the previous three books.

Ken Fite has an intensity to his writing that I have not seen in years! His mix of thrill writing and knowledge of the inner workings of American politics makes for the perfect recipe to appease those who enjoy political thrillers. Fite’s ongoing exploration of Blake Jordan provides the reader with something on which to latch, even without further backstory revelations. Blake Jordan may have isolated himself from others after feeling he is ‘cursed’, but his drive to solve those missions before him proves to be his greatest asset. While his amorphous position within the Administration could cause blowback, Jordan handles it with ease. Jordan and Agent Jami Davis pair up nicely, even though their strain has led to an ongoing theme in the novels. Their professional work is second to none, getting to the core of yet another terror threat. The other characters who grace the pages of the novel are a mix of returning vets and new faces, all of whom add flavour to the plot. Fite writes in such a way that each story can stand on its own, though I am beginning to doubt the ‘standalone’ theory that is peddled on the dust jacket. By this, the fourth novel, there are too many threads that connect the series to be able to recommend anyone dive into the middle of the series and try to find their way. I can only suggest that the new reader stop, take a breath, and begin with the first novel, which reads as smoothly as the others. Thereafter, all the side comments will make much sense. The pace of the novel helps make it stand out and will surely grab the reader’s attention from the outset, particularly with short chapters that use well-placed cliffhangers to propel the reader to ‘try a little more before stopping’. I’ve binge-read the series in four days, which speaks to how easily they can be tackled, should time permit!

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for a great series that has not lost its momentum. Now, the crash, as I wait for the fifth book to be published!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

In Plain Sight (Blake Jordan #3), by Ken Fite

Nine stars

Yet another strong political thriller by Ken Fite, with a story that finds its feet in the early chapters and never stops developing. I discovered Fite by accident and was blown away with his series debut, which forced me to locate the rest of the series—Amazon seems to have the exclusive market of these digital releases—and devour the novels in short order. In this third piece, Blake Jordan is settling into his position as a special advisor to the American president. While in Chicago visiting his former parter and apparent love interest, Jami Davis, Jordan realises that many of the situations in which he has found himself seem to go south, leaving him to wonder about a personal curse. Before they can begin a discussion on the matter, Jordan and Davis are made aware of a murder back in DC. What makes it all the more alarming is that the victim worked as a cyber analyst with powerful connections. Rushing back to Washington, Jordan learns of a cyberattack along the East Coast, one that paralysed the federal infrastructure for a time, which could only prove devastating in the future if the perpetrator can cripple communications indefinitely. After a show of might that includes a transportation disaster, the group responsible claims to have larger plans for the coming days. Jordan comes face to face with one of his past nemeses who appears to be connected to the upcoming terrorist act, but wants immunity before revealing anything. With little idea where and when regarding the terror strike, Jordan must team-up with various organisations in the intelligence community, including the Department of Domestic Counterintelligence (DDC), where he led the Chicago office until he was summarily dismissed. Much strong-arming finally provides intel that the act of terrorism is set for New Year’s Eve, though Jordan’s friend is being held at an unknown location as well. Information is being released at a trickle, with little time to spare, leaving Jordan, Davis, and the rest of the team in a panic. While Jordan and Davis try to crack the mystery wide open, they must also decide how they fit into one another’s lives. Either way, it will come to an explosive ending that will have series fans on the edge of their seats. Fite has done it again with a stellar novel that puts Blake Jordan in the middle of a nail-biting thrill ride. Easily read as a standalone, but a wonderful complement to the previous two novels in the series, should the reader wish to embark on a larger adventure. Highly recommended to those who love a good thriller, particularly the reader who has read the previous two books.

Ken Fite writes with much intensity and knows his politics, the perfect recipe for a successful political thriller. Fite continues to explore the world of Blake Jordan in his amorphous role within the West Wing. The backstory is minimal, but what the series fan will know helps propel Jordan to piece it all together while tackling the current issue. Blake Jordan is a man on a mission, no matter what it might be, putting America before his own safety. Jordan gets to the heart of the matter, discovering surprises bone-chilling information about the larger intelligence community that could shape the way in which America is governed. Jordan and Agent Jami Davis pair up nicely to get to the core of the terror threat, working as well on their personal connection, though time seems to be very limited on that front. The handful of other characters are a mix of returning vets and new faces, all of whom work to shape the plot in their own way. Fite is never short of political situations and uses his characters effectively to keep the reader connected to the larger narrative. The pace of the novel helps make it stand out and will surely grab the reader’s attention from the outset, particularly with short chapters that inject cliffhangers to propel the reader to read ‘just a little more’. I’ve binge-read the first three novels and will definitely be reaching for Book 4 to see what direction Blake Jordan takes, particularly with the revelation at the end of this book.

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for a great series that keeps getting better. Bring on more adventure for all!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Credible Threat (Blake Jordan #2), by Ken Fite

Nine stars

I love a good political thriller, particularly when the story gains momentum in the early chapters and keeps up that pace. I discovered Ken Fite’s first book by accident and was blown away, forcing me to rush to secure the rest of this series to date, four books at last count. I ended up steamrolling through each of the first two books, taking under a day apiece, and am waiting to get started on the next one. It’s almost Inauguration Day and Blake Jordan has made his way to Washington to be a part of the festivities, as well as join the West Wing team as a senior advisor to the new American president. Accompanying him is his former work colleague, Jami Davis, who is still working out of the Chicago office of the Department of Domestic Counterintelligence (DDC). Removed from his position there after a gaffe the previous summer, Jordan is pleased to start his new role, but enjoys the DDC updates. As they settle in the day before the event, Jordan and Davis are alerted to some chatter that a terror strike has been planned for the DC area on the day of the inauguration, though there is little else that has been revealed. All intel points to a cell of Somali terrorists who crossed the border, though even that has yet to be fully verified. As Jordan briefs his new boss, Agent Davis tries to liaise with other agencies to substantiate the threat. With a group working to bring down the Administration, someone targets Jordan to remove him from the mix, in hopes of neutralising the largest threat to a successful attack. Time is running out and it would seem no one is safe, nor can they be trusted! Stunning in its delivery, Fite stirs up the drama and pulls the reader in throughout this piece. Recommended for those who love a good thriller and particularly to the reader who thoroughly enjoyed the series debut novel. As some of the blurbs on the book report, this one can be read as a standalone, but complements the previous novel nicely.

Ken Fite is able to mix the intensity of a thriller novel with the ever-changing dynamic of American politics. Adding to some of the groundwork from the opening novel, Fite delves deeper into the world of Blake Jordan post-DDC and the amazing job he has before him. There remains little backstory on offer—but a few tidbits do emerge during a heated exchange in the latter portion of the novel— but it becomes readily apparent that Blake Jordan is a man on a mission, one who cannot stop until the job has been completed. Jordan is determined to get to the heart of the matter, full of surprises and with a need to leave no stone unturned. While no longer working together officially, Jordan and Agent Jami Davis pair up nicely to get to the core of the terror threat, leaving the reader to wonder if there is a future for these two away from work. Based on my quick reading of the first two novels, Jordan has much room to grow and develop as a character, though he continues to find ways to keep the reader interested. The handful of other characters who made their debut in the last novel and return here help to flavour the narrative, while a strong group of new faces shape the plot and keep the story unique. We shall see what other political and personal scenarios arise, based on how this novel ended, but Fite is sure to have some strong ideas and equally effective characters to help shape the series as it gets stronger. The pace of the novel helps make it stand out and will surely grab the reader’s attention from the outset. Short chapters leave little time to think on what is taking place, thrusting the reader forward and forcing them to ‘read late into the night’ as the dust jacket blurb hopes will happen. Either that, or a day-long binge as I undertook to finish, just so I that I could say I learned how things wrapped up. I will definitely be reaching for Book 3 to see what direction Blake Jordan takes as he moves forward.

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for a great continuation of the series. I cannot wait to see what else you have to come!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Senator (Blake Jordan #1), by Ken Fite

Nine stars

I will be the first to admit, I love a good political thriller, particularly one that gains momentum in the early chapters and never stops racing until the end. Finding Ken Fite’s book almost by accident, I vowed that I would give the series debut a try to see if it lived up to all the hype. Boy, did it ever, and then some, which is how I ended up steamrolling through it in a single day. Illinois Senator James Keller prepares to accept the nomination of the Republican Party for President of the United States. In his hometown of Chicago, he makes his way to the United Center for the convention, only to be kidnapped inside his suite. Blake Jordan is the Special Agent in Charge with the Department of Domestic Counterintelligence (DDC), tasked with protecting Senator Keller. When news leaks that the senator is not late for his speech because of traffic, Jordan pushes things into high gear, vowing to find Keller before it’s too late. Meanwhile, Keller’s captor has a plan, which is altered slightly when a nosy journalist learns more than he ought to in short order. As Keller is paraded before the world and an execution date is set, Jordan must dodge accusations and bullets to save Keller, who is not only his charge, but a personal friend. With the hours ticking by, Jordan will have to find a way, as he pieces together the larger plot and seeks a motive. Fite does a sensational job in this series debut, which will have fans of political thrillers gasping for breath as they try to keep up.

Ken Fite is surely an author to watch, as he is able to mix the art of the thriller novel with the nuances of American politics. There is surely more to come, as the series has four novels to date, all of which look equally enthralling. Introducing the world to Blake Jordan and the DDC lays the groundwork for a stellar protagonist. While there is little backstory on offer—save that he was a SEAL and recently lost his wife—Blake Jordan is a man with a mission and whose choices are usually based on the moment. Jordan is full of surprises and stays one step ahead of those around him, even when flirting with insubordination. He has a job and that appears to be all that he wants to do. Working alongside a partner whose story remains overshadowed by his own, Jordan has much room to grow in the coming novels. The handful of other characters will surely play roles in the upcoming novels and served the debut well, helping to solidify Jordan’s place in the narrative. We shall see what other political and personal scenarios arise, but Fite is sure to have some strong ideas and equally effective characters to help push the story along. While the story is not entirely unique—politician of importance is kidnapped and must be saved—it is the pace of the story that makes it stand alone. The short chapters leave little time to think on what is taking place, thrusting the reader forward and forcing them to ‘read late into the night’ as the dust jacket blurb hopes will happen. Either that, or a day-long binge as I undertook to finish, just so I that I could say I learned how things wrapped up. I will definitely be reaching for Book 2 now, as I cannot get enough of Fite, Blake Jordan, or the content.

Kudos, Mr. Fite, for a great opening salvo. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store for your readers!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons