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Quinn: The Short Stories: Volume 1

Tekijä: Kevin Scott Olson

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näyttää 2/2
A series of quick reads about your standard unofficial official black ops warrior, under orders from the CIA, of the "we will disavow" variety. Quick and easy reads, with good, entertaining action and a wide variety of settings and situations. From hostage rescue to espionage to protection detail... a little something for everyone.

The best: "Paradise", about an accidental encounter with wannabe domestic terrorists, in an out-of-the-way motel on rainy night. The least: "The Goddess of the Deep", about training and someone else getting married... not really a story, so much as vignette.

Quinn is presented as very talented and casually lethal. Think Lee Child's Jack Reacher or Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan, but working for the CIA. Written well enough to make it easy to believe his skills.

The main flaw, as I see it, is the fixation on women. Or "a" woman, in each story. Almost like it's a character tic. Every story has a woman who is super hot, sexy in an athletic way, and definitely interested in doing a triple gainer into bed with him. Every story.

I'd have no problem with his borderline pervy way of looking at and describing and hitting on women, if it didn't come across as the equivalent of an obsessive-compulsive having to check the gas and the locks, twice, before leaving home. "Killed the bad guys? Check. Completed the mission? Check. Had sex with the hot babe? Check." Yes, sometimes the sex is implied as occurring after the story ends, but still.

Well... okay, there were three stories I had a specific problem with, regarding the women. "Paradise" where he SPECIFICALLY self-identifies as the young woman's sort-of chaperone. But that doesn't stop him from perving over her body and ultimately ending with implied sexual relations, though thankfully he doesn't have sex with her in the story. Or even get physical.

The second was "Baltic Dance", where he must rescue a woman who has been captured and will soon be tortured and executed. She even implies the various things they were going to do to her, before Quinn rescues her. I guess Quinn doesn't know much about psychology (unlikely), since he seems unaware of the tendency for people to become overly-thankful to those who rescue them from great danger, especially if the danger were long-lasting. Sure, she ends up coming on to him... too bad he is too weak to say no.

The third was Roseblood. In this, the issue was his (as in all of them) fixation on analyzing the woman's physical form. His job (unusually, as it would seem outside his wheelhouse) is protection detail. This ex-patriot Russian dancer is given performances in America and there's reason to believe she will be assassinated. She has bodyguards and Quinn's job, at her show, is to hide in the rafters with a sniper rifle and watch for danger. And the first page or two is spent with him basically studying her and the stage she is on, through his sniper scope. I mean... creepy much? This wwas the most troublesome one, because Mr. UberGuy is not doing his job. If a killer were lining up a shot, Quinn would have no chance of finding him, because he's busy watching the only person who is definitely not a threat. And when he does look around, he goes back to her. Because he needs to talk about her sexiness and her body. I mean...

Aside from the weird, B-Spy-movie-of-the-60s approach to women, the only other problem I had is that Quinn is SO good, SO perfect, SO deadly that when it comes to actual conflict, he eliminates it almost without effort. As a result, after a couple of stories, I stopped having any doubts about his ability to get through anything, without doing more than breaking out a light sweat. This is not good, for thrillers.

Fast-paced, well-written action sequences, but a tad too, um, "old fashioned" in the character's approach to, and the author's treatment of, women, for my tastes. ( )
  James_Patrick_Joyce | Oct 24, 2020 |
Michael Quinn has quickly become one of my favorite literary characters, and Mr. Olson one of my go to authors! These short stories are action packed, have interesting characters, and exciting plots. I look forward to my next Michael Quinn adventure! ( )
  bearlyr | Aug 5, 2019 |
näyttää 2/2
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