So this weekend, I ripped through Kurt Schlichter’s latest Kelly Turnbull Novel Collapse.
And while ordinarily I hate those clichés like “pulse-pounding action,” there’s just no other way to put it. Collapse is non-stop, pulse-pounding action.
You know how when you go see an action movie and it’s so edge-of-your-seat exciting that you find yourself pushing down on an invisible brake pedal while gripping the arm rests like your life depended on it?
That’s what it’s like reading Collapse. Actually, that’s what every single one of the Kelly Turnbull novels are like.
There were times yesterday when I was clutching the book so tightly my knuckles were white. I found myself muttering, “Come on! Hurry!!” under my breath.
Damn, is it good. So good, in fact, that last night I stayed up way past my bedtime to get to the end because I refused to put it down and turn out the light.
Now I’ve read the other three Kelly Turnbull novels and I have to say, I think Collapse is my favorite of the four.
But before I proceed, let me give you a little background on the series in case you aren’t familiar with them.
The Kelly Turnbull books take place in the not-so-distant future — from the mid-2020s to the mid-2030s. The United States of America has split into two separate countries. The red states retain the name the United States. But the blue states become the People’s Republic of North America.
Kelly Turnbull is a special operator who is called upon whenever the United States needs someone to enter the People’s Republic to conduct a covert mission.
As I described him in the past, Turnbull is a cross between Mitch Rapp and Snake Plisskin from “Escape from New York.” He’s one kick-ass hero. I especially enjoy his dry sense of humor.
Plus he really likes to shoot things.
Any old how.
In Collapse, the People’s Republic is teetering on the brink of, well, collapse. The people are starving and live no better than rats. Well, not the elites. For them, life in the Blue is tickety-boo. But overall, things are teetering on the edge. Think present-day Venezuela.
So Turnbull is once again called into service. But not just him. The entire United States military is called up in preparation for an invasion of the Western half of the People’s Republic.
See, in its desperation to prevent the inevitable collapse, the People’s Republic allies itself with China – effectively giving the Chi-coms complete control of the Pacific from the Chinese mainland all the way to California. The PR is willingly allowing itself to be conquered rather than collapse.
And there’s no way in hell the red states are going to put up with the Chi-coms at their door, so they launch an operation to beat them back.
Before the invasion kicks off, the United States inserts covert teams and paratroopers behind enemy lines to carry out targeted sabotage and to secure the roads leading into San Francisco (the capital of Western People’s Republic) in order to choke it off from the rest of the region.
In that respect, it’s sort of a near-future version of the Normandy Invasion or Operation Market Garden (which took place in Holland just a few months after D-Day).
The whole book is a bit of an homage to those great World War Two movies about the Allied invasion into Europe.
In fact, Turnbull is charged with convincing a computer hacker to join him in the People’s Republic to carry out part of his mission. The hacker in question is serving a prison sentence at the time and probably won’t want to go. When Turnbull balks at this, his boss asks him, “Have you ever seen The Dirty Dozen?”
Collapse is a combination war story/covert ops story. And once it begins, it never ever lets up. Which is why I’ll concede to the cliché and call it non-stop, pulse-pounding action.
But it’s also Kurt Schlichter. Which means you will find yourself laughing out loud quite a bit.
From the tater-shaped Brian Stelter to a surprise appearance from an older, still unstable Greta Thunberg, Schlichter continues the tradition of injecting real-life people into the story. Actor Nick Searcy is now a US Senator in the red states. Hell, even my favorite witless foil Alyssa Milano gets a shout-out in Collapse.
Now, I don’t want to get into much detail because I really don’t want to give anything away. The only hint I’ll give you is the title, has a double mean. ‘Nuff said.
Suffice it to say the story has twists and turns and edge-of-your-seat moments that will make it hard to put the damn thing down even for a bathroom break.
Taken alone, Collapse is a hell of a read. But if you haven’t read the other three, I highly recommend you start at the beginning of the Kelly Turnbull series and work your way through to Collapse. Not because you’d be lost otherwise. But because all four books are so good, you’ll want to get the full experience.
You can find Collapse exclusively at Amazon. And since it’s almost Christmas, now’s a great time to buy one as a gift.
You can read my reviews of the other three Kelly Turnbull novels here:
Buy all four. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
Speaking of Christmas gifts:
Dianny’s latest ebook, RANT: Derangement & Resistance in MAGA Country, would make a great Christmas present. You can find it at Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, and at Smashwords for only $4.99!
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