Throughout my time in the Marines and law enforcement, I have found that some of the most successful people have a few things in common. They take their job or responsibility seriously, they have an imagination and they know how to communicate. So, what do you do when your career is over? For some, they turn that passion into something they love to do or something they feel they “have” to do. I felt like this was the case with, Jack Carr, author of “The Terminal List”. I didn’t interview him for this article, nor do I know him. But after listening to an interview he gave regarding his time in the Navy and why/how he wrote this book, it was clear my above thoughts were true (in my opinion). And the recipe is killer.
There are not many books that capture my attention to the point where I wake up before dawn to continue reading.Without a doubt, this book did. The book is billed as a thriller, and it absolutely is, in every sense. It will also take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions that are easily relatable to the average person. The story of James Reece is one that will pull you in and not only keep you reading, but it will leave you needing to know what will happen next. Who will James Reece kill next and how will he kill them.
Jack Carr taps into a part of your brain that some people forget they have, the lizard brain. This primitive, yet powerful, part of your mind is used to control aspects of the human body that have evolved over millions of years and remain with us today. In the case of The Terminal List, it’s a story of revenge that is satisfying to the end. You find yourself rooting on James Reece as he crosses off another name from his list. And even find yourself enjoying how he provides just compensation to the people who took everything from him.
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What makes the book even more real is the authors real world experience. You can feel his passion for his previous profession as he describes in detail the tools and trades he has learned over the decades. He uses his knowledge and experience to bring out a realism that captures the reader’s imagination. You can see and feel the scenes play out as if you were there watching them unfold.
One of the most gut-wrenching parts of the book, for me at least, being a father, was when Reece arrives home from his last deployment. Carr holds nothing back and delivers a punch to the gut. You can sense Reece’s relief to be home and after reading the events that preceded the drive to his family’s home who could blame him. Then, like the left hook your mom taught you in grade school, Jack Carr takes you for another ride. At that moment in the book, I couldn’t wait to continue so I could see how his revenge unfolds, truly gripping, to say the least.
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Carr does an excellent job providing the reader with a sense of satisfaction as the story unfolds. He also keeps you concerned for the protagonist, Reece, during his journey. Carr does a fine job of tying in current events, political third rails and real-world limitations to Reece’s mission for redemption and revenge. I told a few people who never served in any capacity about the book and asked them to read it. Every time they came back to me and ranted about how good it was and how they couldn’t put it down.
You don’t have to have a military background to understand the book. The descriptions Carr lays out of what Reece has learned over his career, the tools he uses are excellent and methodical. If you are looking for a good, fast-paced read that is satisfying to your lizard brain, I highly recommend this book. Well done, Jack Carr, and if Hollywood ever picks up the rights, they better do the story justice and keep in the Florida scene.
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