The Terminal List by Jack Carr is an intense journey that documents one man’s ruthless crusade for revenge and vindication while exposing corruption at the highest levels of government in the form of Lieutenant Commander James Reece who is determined to avenge the senseless deaths of his entire team of navy seals and his beloved family members in the face of impossible odds and ominous conspiracies set to sabotage his every move. This novel masterfully illustrates the sheer willpower and merciless precision that Reece utilizes with chilling efficiency that made him such a deadly asset during his time in the U.S military as he now uses his formidable talents against his former employers to hunt down the people responsible for the deaths of his family and his military teammates.
When a tactical deployment in Afghanistan lead by Commander James Reece was ambushed and sent his entire team to their early graves along with the air crews meant to rescue them, Commander Reece began to question the legitimacy of the planning behind the mission itself and the ulterior motives of the higher powers who orchestrated the failed operation as he later discovered that he (and the rest of the soldiers who had died during the mission) had a deadly tumour growing in his brain that was slowly killing him. Knowing that he didn’t have much time left on Earth and after coming home to bullet-ridden walls and the dead bodies of his dearest wife and daughter (while also realizing that he had an unborn son that he would never be able to see or care for), Commander Reece dedicated the remainder of his dwindling life span to tracking down the individuals and organizations that they work for who were responsible for arranging the deaths of his brothers-in-arms and the brutal murder of his family. He devoted his resources and military arsenal to extract information as to the insidious agenda that various organizations and corporations (who had colluded with notable figureheads in the government) sought to capitalize and profit off of the deaths of his teammates with the help of close friends and allies from his time spent in the military to target specific names who had executed and choreographed the botched mission and had attempted to cover up any unwanted evidence to their money-making schemes and to ruthlessly dispose of them once Commander Reece had collected the intel he needed regarding their conspiratorial plot.
The Terminal List provides jarring suspense and fast-paced action that never feels stagnant in any part of the novel’s plot as the insurmountable challenges and dangers that Commander Reece faces are extremely believable and just as threatening to his safety as he executes his own mission of retribution and revenge to the doorsteps of the most depraved yet powerful individuals in the world without any heed for conventional laws or regulations. The characterization of Commander Reece himself is expertly written and executed as the reader is left questioning whether the Commander has become consumed by his own goals and if he is just as remorseless and relentless as his inhuman targets in the higher ranks of the political & corporate realm. I would definitely recommend The Terminal List to anyone who wishes for a pleasant return to the cold-hearted thrillers of past generations and is searching for a conventional yet gripping descent into the true reaches of corruption and the ability for tragedy to distort or empower a man’s will to survive and the will to conquer any obstacle in his way.