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Friday
May152015

Book Review: Pernicious Intent

Pernicious Intent. G. R. Case. Cool Blue Books, March 24, 2015. Trade Paperback and Kindle, 368 pages.

Reviewed by Ed Sarna.

G. R. Case’s novel Pernicious Intent is both a buddy story that is reminiscent of Lethal Weapon and a non-stop thriller. The story introduces DEA Agents Carlos Perez and Reese Tyler, who are members of the Drug Reaction Tactical Force or DRTF, an undercover unit that targets the illegal drug trade in Miami. In order to blend in, the members of the unit are supplied with, amongst other things, the hottest and fastest cars. The fast car thing keeps with the tradition of the buddy story genre, where a car is barely driven off the lot before it is thrust into a high-speed chase, often culminating in the need for a replacement vehicle.

The action begins when Carlos and Reese attempt to secure an informant, Ricky, who may have information on a recent drug heist. Ricky, who works at the airport, is located but before he can be apprehended, he takes off running. The ensuing chase damages planes, a good portion of the airport, and numerous bystanders. By the time the should-be informant is caught, the damage is epic. Unfortunately, because of Carlos’s carelessness, they end up capturing the wrong man.

This is the last straw for Reese who, although he still cares for Carlos as a friend, cannot put up with him any longer as a partner. He puts in for a transfer to teach at the DEA’s training facility. Fast forward two years and Carlos is still with the DRFT unit and on the trail of one of Miami’s fastest rising drug lords, Tyrus Miller. Tyrus has come up with a new designer drug called Smile G, which is the hot new drug on college campuses, with one minor setback: it can sometimes be deadly. Tyrus is making a power play to eliminate his competition and decides he does not want to have to worry about DRFT closing in on him. He puts a hit out on the team, killing two of them and hurting Carlos and his pregnant wife. Carlos, who is now out for revenge, asks Reese to come back for just one more case. Reese reluctantly agrees, and together they destroy half the town and enough luxury vehicles to stock a good size car lot. There are numerous plot twists as the pair pursue, and are pursued by, Tyrus and his assassin sister, Tela.

While some of the motivation behind the non-stop action does not always withstand close scrutiny, it moves so quickly and is so much fun that like a good action movie, you forgive and forget for the thrill of the ride. The book, subtitled Miami Book 1, has a cinematic feel to it and appears to be the first in a series. I can easily see it as a big budget action film. In the future, Case could focus a little more on character development, but as long as he keeps the action going, his books are sure to be a fun read.    

G. R. Case is a novelist, screenwriter, radio show host, and sociologist. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Sociology. He resides just outside of Chicago, Illinois.

 

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