Saturday, February 20, 2021

Book Reviews: A Flash Of Red

A Flash Of Red
by Clay Harvey
I think I read this book before. I bought this book from a now closed used book store. There are, as the Clint Eastwood Gran Torino character Walt Kowalksi put it, occasions when you mess with someone that you really should have left alone. A Flash Of Red gives the reader a 300 page example of that. North Carolina resident Tyler Vance is a successful author and magazine contributor. Vance is a widower with a four year old son. Vance likes classical music and life's finer things, but he's no stranger to hard physical labor. 
Vance drives to his local bank ATM to conduct some business. But there's a bank robbery in progress. Vance can't escape. One of the getaway drivers has seen the police coming and left. When the two bank robbers exit, Vance's truck is the closest to them. They try to carjack Vance. A robber points a gun at Vance's face, ordering him out of his truck. Well threatening Vance was the robbers' last and worst mistake. Vance is never unarmed. Vance has the speed and reaction time of a cobra.
I now had two viable options, in my view. One I could drop the .45 onto the floorboard and relinquish my truck, hoping he wouldn't shoot me, pistol-whip me, or secure me as a hostage. Such an alternative went against my gut feeling, my knowledge of human nature, my philosophy of social decorum, and my extensive--albeit long-past---training in handling violent confrontations. I went with option two. I shot him in the beard.
Vance wins the ensuing gun fight with the Uzi equipped second robber.  The police aren't happy. One cop is an ego driven bully who despises citizens who defend themselves. This man is peeved that Vance doesn't bow down to his authority. The higher ranking and more intelligent police officer immediately recognizes that the coolly competent Vance must have had some military or intelligence training. 
Vance is a former Special Forces operative with lengthy off the record experience in Korea. Vance's former commanding officers remind him that he could have an "accident" should he discuss any of his still classified activities.
Unfortunately for Vance, one man he killed was the brother of a transnational criminal boss. The crime boss has decided that business can wait until he deals with Vance. The crime boss thinks everyone in Vance's circle of friends and family is fair game for vengeance, including Vance's father, Vance's possible new girlfriend and her son, Vance's dogs, and most especially Vance's little boy. This guy plays for keeps. 
But so does Vance.
This book was an okay read which generally unfolds how you might expect. Harvey doesn't beat you over the head with a political view like many other genre authors (Stephen Hunter) but his story does point out that there is evil to resist in the world. Some events are on the implausible side but the action rarely stops. Harvey has a sense of humor which fills in story flaws.
blog comments powered by Disqus