A few months ago, I read the first volume in this trilogy and enjoyed it, while noting some real problems. The same thing could be said about this follow-up -- the problems are still there, but they're not as bad. Patterson's improved -- he's better at what he was good at, and his bad isn't quite as bad.
The character I liked most from The Warrior, Broker, moves to Center Stage for this one, hired by the FBI agent who made such a mess of things last time, Isakson. He's been trying to take down an increasingly powerful criminal organization in New York, a gang called the 5Clubs. The problem is, there seems to be a mole in the FBI or the NYPD, and he can't find it. Enter Broker and his impossibly good sources, software and assorted mercenaries -- most notably, the Warriors.
Broker tries to improve upon the FBI's own investigation, but it doesn't work to well. So, he picks another strategy. He's going to ask the 5Clubs, who the mole is. Which includes the bonus feature of taking out a good deal of their operations along the way to give them a reason to actually answer.
Mayhem, destruction, and vigilante justice ensues in a quite entertaining fashion.
There are some weaknesses, which I really don't want to focus on -- but these take me out of the action, take me out of the scene when I ran into them. If they didn't, I wouldn't talk about them. But when it stops me, I have to mention it.
1. There were far too many "Britishisms." Mechanics from Ohio don't talk to their kids about going on holidays, or use a "mobile." Once the action got going in Part 2, it stopped being as much of an issue -- things were moving fast enough that they were easier to ignore.
2. Similarly, Patterson could use a synonym or two for "gang" and "hood." The repeated use of these two got to the point where they were grating.
3. When it comes to the inter-personal dialogue, Patterson's improved, but not enough. You can tell when he's going for banter between the team members, but it's just a little wooden.
The problems detract and distract, but don't ultimately ruin the experience of The Reluctant Warrior
. It's a solid action story and a good improvement over the previous installment, and I'm curious to see where Patterson takes it next.
Note: I was graciously provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a review. Hope he doesn't regret that.