Flash of Red

Flash of Red

by Clay Harvey
     
 

A Flash of Red introduces a major new thriller writer and a major new thriller hero - Tyler Vance, special operative turned family man, who just can't seem to avoid the trouble that turns up at his door. Vance thought he'd left the violence behind when he quit the military twenty years ago and moved to North Carolina. Now a freelance gun writer and the father of… See more details below

Overview

A Flash of Red introduces a major new thriller writer and a major new thriller hero - Tyler Vance, special operative turned family man, who just can't seem to avoid the trouble that turns up at his door. Vance thought he'd left the violence behind when he quit the military twenty years ago and moved to North Carolina. Now a freelance gun writer and the father of four-year-old Cullen, he wants nothing more than to forget those days, but that was before the bank robber pointed a gun at him, before Vance's instincts took over and he dropped the gunman first, before he found out just whom he'd killed and what it meant. For the gunman had family too, and they definitely believe in an eye for an eye...or maybe two. Strong, smart-tongued, surrounded by a memorable cast of friends and family, each of whom contributes as the battle escalates, Vance is a wholly likable hero, lively, inventive, and tough.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the quick-clutch first sentence ("I didn't want to shoot him, I really didn't"), first-novelist Harvey (whose nonfiction includes The Hunter's Rifle) establishes himself as a writer possessed of cool control. Narrator Tyler Vance, is, like his creator, an author of books about guns. He's also a former Army "specialist" trained in wet work and dirty tricks, dad to a four-year-old son and seemingly incapable of avoiding trouble. The man Tyler doesn't want to shoot in the opening line is one of two bank robbers dead by his hand in the first scene. The remainder of the novel concerns Tyler's efforts to save his son, and other relations and friends, from the dead men's vengeful partners. Drugs and weapon sales fit into the muscular story line as well. Tyler is tough but sentimental enough to avoid being hard-boiled, rather like Robert B. Parker's Spenser, and he's as much of a smart-mouth as the Boston PI. The first adventure of this lethal weapon in human form zips along in pared-down prose. If only Harvey can learn to refrain from occasional archness ("I left before I had to bear further brunt"), readers should enjoy the promised second as much as this one. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Good old boys from the Bible Belt put paid to the vengeful plans of alien weapons traffickers in this preachy debut thriller.

One fateful day, Tyler Vance (a North Carolina freelance writer who churns out books and articles for the guns and ammo market) finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery while on his way to deposit a sizable royalty check. Pistol-packing Ty drops two of the bandits with a few well-aimed shots, but two others escape with a hostage. One of the holdup men who got away is a Bosnian Serb named Valentin Resovic, and his brother Mikhail was a victim of Vance's accurate fire. A transnational gun-runner and racketeer with a lengthy Interpol file, the surviving Resovic vows to make Ty pay for his loss. But Vance, a veteran of a hush-hush Army unit that trained him in a variety of lethal arts and employed his talents in Korea during the '70s, is not without his resources. Though day care is a constant problem, the straight-arrow widower who single-parents a clever five-year-old son quickly recruits a special force of family members, friends, and volunteers from his old military unit (now at Fort Bragg) to help him provide a solution to the Resovic problem. Hunters and hunted have at each other in a series of bloody encounters in the Tarheel State and points south. At length, the ever armed and dangerous Ty (who seldom misses an opportunity to deliver a sermonette against smoking or in favor of wholesome family values and prayer) finds God on the side of the big guns as he confronts his Serbian nemesis at a rural farmstead where Cullen is held captive.

Whatever momentum the wildly improbable narrative manages to gather—thanks to Harvey's modest gift for scenes of violent action—is braked by constant moralizing and posturing. For readers with a high tolerance for redneck self-righteousness and machismo.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399141560
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
05/21/1996
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
9.28(w) x 6.24(h) x 0.92(d)

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