Reviewed by Rel Mollet
Defiance by Don Brown
"...an engrossing story of political intrigue and high suspense."
Don Brown's consummate JAG advocate, Lieutenant Commander Zack Brewer returns in Defiance, the third book in the Navy Justice series. In the previous two books, Zack captured the headlines with his stunning legal prosecutions of terrorists who had infiltrated the United States Navy. During those trials he met and fell in love with Lieutenant Diane Colcernian but his life was shattered when Diane was kidnapped and subsequently killed in a bombing raid.
"You're a victim of your own popularity, Zack."
Defiance opens with Zack still grieving the loss of Diane Colcernian, but remaining with the Navy seeking refuge from the public interest which has arisen since his well-publicised legal achievements. He is unwittingly thrown into the spotlight again when his most recent trial is hijacked by US presidential hopeful Senator Eleanor Claxton. Seeking to garner support for her liberal views, she labels the trial a witch hunt and touts the offender as the victim. At the same time Navy intelligence reveals Zack's life may once again be in danger from the terrorists responsible for Diane's death nearly 18 months earlier.
"She had known that her job might one day require her to kill. But to come to grips with it..."
NCIS agent Shannon McGilverry is assigned to protect Zack, but as she begins to link a murder in Paris with rumours of hostages hidden in the Mongolian desert, her own heart is at risk, and her growing attraction to Zack is threatened by each truth she reveals. She discovers that Zack is not only being targeted by terrorists but also someone closer to home and she determines save him and uncover the secrets surrounding Diane's death no matter what the cost.
Don Brown has succeeded again, penning an engrossing story of political intrigue and high suspense which kept me reading well into the early hours of the morning. The premise of this book deviates in some sense from the first two by focussing on internal threats to national security and the potential damage the nomination of someone like Eleanor Claxton could do to America's political and social integrity. The storyline is eerily realistic, the action and suspense well paced and the characters appealing and genuine. Brown's personal experience as a JAG officer lends authenticity and credibility to the courtroom scenes and Navy details. He writes well from both the male and female points of view, resulting in a story that appeals to both men and women. The faith of the main characters blends appropriately with the storyline without unnecessary heavy handedness. Zack's faultless personality is a little overstated and the ending left some unresolved issues, but in the end these things do not detract from a top-notch story and leave the way open for a further book in this enthralling series.
If the movie A Few Good Men and television shows like JAG and NCIS are favorites, then this book is for you! I do recommend reading Treason and Hostage before Defiance to get the most out of this great series.
Rel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".