I’ve made no secret of the fact that in many ways, the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series is a bit of a throwback to the glory days of Men’s Adventure fiction, most exemplified by The Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, the SOBs, and similar series.

Mark Allen’s Warlock is the same thing, if in a slightly different direction.  The cover should be a dead giveaway, too; it looks like a Mack Bolan cover.

Autofire Blitz is the first (and to my knowledge, presently the only) book in the series.  It introduces Damien Locke, callsign “Warlock.”  He knows that’s his callsign because it’s tattooed on him; he’s an amnesiac, apparently because of a head wound.  All he knows is that he has a talent for putting “warheads on foreheads.”

If that line seems a little corny, it kind of fits the book.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s not a bad story.  It’s just very straightforward and tropey.  It is an ’80s action movie put to print.

Locke is working as a mercenary, in the classic ’80s Hollywood sense of the term; he’s a loner and a one-man army, who hires out to kill bad guys in job lots.  He gets hired to find the kidnapped son of a DEA agent, and ends up hunting down a DEA-Cartel alliance from the US to Colombia.

There aren’t a lot of twists or turns.  It’s a straightforward bug hunt, as Locke works his way up the chain.  “Slaughters his way up the chain,” I should probably say.  He pauses only long enough to get the next name before finishing off his target and moving on.

The action is fast, furious, and gleefully over the top.  Autofire Blitz is a good title; Locke never uses single shots when a long burst will do the job.  The gore is pretty gratuitous; it’s almost cartoony.  Once again, very ’80s.  Bullets are essentially serving as tiny RPG rounds at times in this book.

While this list might seem slightly cringe-worthy in light of some of my earlier discussions of realism and authenticity, in Autofire Blitz, it all works.  This isn’t a book trying to be a serious thriller while its hero double-fists pistols and gets in fistfights with the President (and somehow doesn’t get body-slammed by the Secret Service).  This is unapologetic, over-the-top, comic-booky fun.

You might find yourself shaking your head a few times, but as long as you accept the story for what it is, you’ll probably be grinning a little while you do.

You can get it on Amazon.

Warlock #1 – Autofire Blitz

Peter Nealen

Peter Nealen is a former Reconnaissance Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in 2007, with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Recon Bn. After two years of schools and workups, including Scout/Sniper Basic and Team Leader's Courses, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. Works by Peter include: The American Praetorians Series Task Force Desperate (October 2012) - ebook , paperback and audiobook Hunting in the Shadows (June 2013) - ebook and paperback Alone and Unafraid (August 2014) - ebook and paperback The Devil You Don't Know (June 2015) - ebook and paperback Lex Talionis (June 2017) - ebook and paperback The Jed Horn Series A Silver Cross and a Winchester (October 2013) - ebook and paperback Nightmares (January 2015)- ebook and paperback The Walker on the Hills (December 2015) - ebook and paperback Older and Fouler Things (September 2017) - ebook and paperback The Brannigan's Blackhearts Series/Universe Kill Yuan (Spring 2016) - ebook and paperback Fury in the Gulf (November 2017) - ebook and paperback Burmese Crossfire (January 2018) - ebook and paperback Enemy Unidentified (March 2018) - ebook and paperback Frozen Conflict (May 2018) - ebook and paperback High Desert Vengeance (August 2018) - ebook and paperback Doctors of Death (December 2018) - ebook and paperback The Unity Wars Series (P.L. Nealen) The Fall of Valdek (July 2018) - ebook and paperback The Defense of Provenia (August 2018) - ebook and paperback The Alliance Rises (September 2018) - ebook and paperback Short Stories Rock Meet Hard Place (Part I) - Baen Books Blog Non-Fiction Operation Redwings: The Rescue Story Behind Lone Survivor (December 2013) - ebook only The ISIS Solution: How Unconventional Thinking and Special Operations Can Eliminate Radical Islam (SOFREP) (November 2014) - ebook only

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *