Written by Scott McEwen with Thomas Kolonear
If books came with sound tracks this one would have the rapid gunfire and explosions of a Hollywood summer movie. The action never stops. That’s all right with the hero Master chief Gil Shannon who doesn’t like it when life gets too quiet. When we first encounter him in this book he is laying in wait on a French rooftop to shoot a terrorist named Docca Umarov. Gil’s spotter, watching the scene from an eye in the sky, reports in his earpiece that another sniper is nearby. Quickly things get ugly and Gil is winged by the unknown sniper, then chased by French gendarmes and their dogs down alleys, across a river and through warehouses—sustaining a flesh wound on his hip, dog bite on his left arm and left hip, and his titanium foot giving out under the stress of the chase. His spotter, still commenting in his earpiece, guides him to safety in the Russian embassy since someone tipped off the French about his identity and they have the American embassy surrounded. Soon Gil is in Russia joining forces with one Major Ivan Dragunov to kill a Spetsnaz (read Russian version of SEALS) gone rogue named Kovalenko better known to those who rightly fear him asThe Wolf. And if possible they will take down the original target Docca Umarov. All this by page 30.
Both Shannon and Dragunov are cynical. Temporarily their separate national interests align, the object being oil profits not principles, although Shannon is considered to be an idealist because he doesn’t like to kill people unless they have it coming. And plenty of people have it coming, most of them ethnic Chechens intent on blowing up an oil pipeline and anyone foolish enough to try to stop them. Here’s a small quote from their epic battle in the Caucasus, two men against the enemy, all of it watched in real time by another an eye on the sky so the whole battle can by witnessed by a group of high powered men, including the American President, at home in Washington. “Gil switched the AK-105 to semiauto and shot a straggler in the back, stepping on the head as he dashed over him. He shouldered the rifle and shot another man in the back of the skull.” We are clearly in the land of video games and Marvel comics movies.
I have no idea if it would be possible in reality for the President to witness such a battle or for two men to survive a drop out of a jet with a drag chute . On the other hand, the weaponry so lovingly described gives it a feeling of being grounded in some reality. A G28 in 7.62 mm or a G28 with a dual me clamp both 10 round mags full. A Dragunov SVD sniper rifle in 7.62 x 54mmR(rimmed)…with a black polymer stock, and equipped with the standard-issue PSO-1 scope, suppressed. With no frame of reference for this I started looking items up on line. Isn’t it amazing what you can buy on the internet. Here’s Dragunov in case you’re wondering but the stock isn’t black….
A Dragunov SVD the first rifle designed as a sniper rifle. It was named after the Russian hero’s grandfather. The first sentence is true according to the internet. Russian grandfather may be an embellishment by the authors.
Scott McEwen was not in the armed forces but he grew up hunting and fishing and according to his bio he works with several military charities. He was the co author with Chris Kyle of AMERICAN SNIPER. This kind of action adventure is not usually on my bedside table but a friend sent it to me, and as I hope you can tell from my comments. I had a good time once I recovered from my surprise. I found the story engrossing and was completely fascinated by all the hardware and manly chat. I would, however, caution against reading it before you plan to sleep. It took at least an hour for my heart rate to settle back to normal.
Scott McEwen with Thomas Kolonear
The Sniper and the Wolf: A Sniper Elite Novel
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
May 12, 2015