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Hard Target

Hard Target

Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
# of Pages: 

If you don’t know Howard Gordon chances are you’ve seen some of his work on the many projects he’s worked on. He is Co-Creator of the hit Showtime series Homeland, he was the Show Runner for Fox’s 24, current Show Runner for NBC’s new series titled Awake, and he was a writer for the popular X-Files series. These are just a few of many. Hard Target marks the second novel written by Gordon in his Gideon Davis series.

Hard Target follows Gideon Davis, the hero from Gordon’s last novel Gideon’s War (or The Obelisk), who is settling down now, about to be married and has taken a cushy teaching job at a college. He meets Ervin Mixon, a gun runner as well as a devoted meth head, who tells Davis that there is going to be a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Before Davis can get enough to go on Mixon goes missing and our story begins to unfold before us. The players; a backwoods Militia, a father, a brother, and an old flame. One side is going to accomplish their task which will mean either the attack takes place or Davis and his ragtag group manage to stop the bad guys.

Going in I knew that Gordon was a TV writer. It didn’t cause me any bias towards my read but when all was said and done and I closed the book on this chapter of Gideon Davis’ life it nagged at me. The book is divided up into several chapters, each chapter no longer then say three to five pages long. I’m not sure if this was done in an attempt to make each chapter feel hectic, to cause suspense for the reader as the story unfolds. It nagged me. Shouldn’t the chapters be longer, character development given more space to evolve? I just didn’t have a point of reference here and Gordon offered me very little to go on. Was Davis an old man, was he a young man? Was he built like a steam engine or trained in some deadly art of combat. Vague remarks offered some insight. He killed many men on an oil rig, was an excellent gun hand, was once a working cog in the government machine. Gideon’s brother is given more back story then he is. I just couldn’t find my bearings with the characters and felt like maybe you had to have read the first book if you were going to get it at all. Imagine walking into the second season of 24 without having seen the first.

The target for this terrorist attack is a high profile one that we know hardly anything about. There is, again some vague remarks, but overall this target isn’t given enough depth to really produce the kind of compassion that would be required to keep you invested. The limbs of this target are also a bit iffy. When your given a very vague picture of said target, pretty much just enough for you not to really care all that much, it detracts from the suspense. I really wish I could say what the target is, maybe then this wouldn’t all just come off as gibberish, but there you go. That’s kind of how I felt going into the backend of the novel. I just felt like this would have made an interesting television show, but on paper, it just read shallow with small instances of real emotional investment. As always final judgment is yours.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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