Hitchhikers, Death, toys, serial killers were the topics of the books I read while on holiday. What did I read when it came to simple "mind candy?" Ted Bell's first Alexander Hawke novel.
Hawke, by Ted Bell, is the first of his Alexander Hawke novels. I kind of read them out of order, but that really doesn't matter. In this novel, I get all of the backstory and then some. The novel opens with young Alex Hawke and his parents somewhere in the Caribbean. Boarded by pirates, Alex is the only survivor. Fast forward about 30 years, Alex is now in the mold of James Bond or Dirk Pitt. Rich, globetrotting industrialist, he takes jobs of a super secret nature from the governments of the US and the UK. This time, there are some missing stealth Russian submarines (with 40 nuclear warheads, each), a coup in Cuba, a kidnapped girlfriend of Alex', and a missing pirate treasure. It all gets wrapped up by the end of the novel (596 pages).
Fast paced? Yep. Intrepid, handsome hero. Check. A bevy of beautiful women? Check. Some state-of-the-art weapons? Check. A lot of explosions, death, and destruction? You betcha. Looking for some fun, summer reading? I think that this will fit the bill nicely. As long as you don't try to analyze the story too much, you will be happy with the novel. Remember, Ted Bell used to work in an advertising agency, so he knows what sells and his demographic. And he delivers on both those accounts. He even throws in some references to James Bond, specifically Thunderball (one of my favorite Bond movies/books). There is a lot going on in this book, enough for several action/adventure novels, but it reads well and it is fun. It was exactly what I needed after the other novels. I just didn't think about it too much. :-)