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As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma, in New York Times bestseller Ben Coes’s new series. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless und As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma, in New York Times bestseller Ben Coes’s new series. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless underworld, breathtaking in its violence, disturbing in its efficiency, and destructive to society at large. With conventional law enforcement methods unable to stem the tide, the President issues top secret Executive Order 12-4b3 creating a small, deadly team to take on this fight behind the scenes—a kill team. The head of the CIA’s Special Operations Group, Bo Coll, is picked to head this group and he, in turn, asks Rob Tacoma to be his deputy. Rob Tacoma—former Navy SEAL and former CIA agent—has a special reason to agree. Tacoma was raised by his grandparents after his own parents were killed by the Russian mafia. But before Tacoma can even start, Bo Coll is found murdered in his own home, as a warning from the Russian mafia itself. Now Tacoma is in charge of the team and they have their first mission, to achieve the near impossible: find and neutralize the mob boss behind Bo Coll’s death. To do so means taking on practically an army in a battle where there are no rules and no limits. Branching off from his bestselling Dewey Andreas novels, this is the first in a brand new series from thriller writer Ben Coes.


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As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma, in New York Times bestseller Ben Coes’s new series. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless und As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma, in New York Times bestseller Ben Coes’s new series. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless underworld, breathtaking in its violence, disturbing in its efficiency, and destructive to society at large. With conventional law enforcement methods unable to stem the tide, the President issues top secret Executive Order 12-4b3 creating a small, deadly team to take on this fight behind the scenes—a kill team. The head of the CIA’s Special Operations Group, Bo Coll, is picked to head this group and he, in turn, asks Rob Tacoma to be his deputy. Rob Tacoma—former Navy SEAL and former CIA agent—has a special reason to agree. Tacoma was raised by his grandparents after his own parents were killed by the Russian mafia. But before Tacoma can even start, Bo Coll is found murdered in his own home, as a warning from the Russian mafia itself. Now Tacoma is in charge of the team and they have their first mission, to achieve the near impossible: find and neutralize the mob boss behind Bo Coll’s death. To do so means taking on practically an army in a battle where there are no rules and no limits. Branching off from his bestselling Dewey Andreas novels, this is the first in a brand new series from thriller writer Ben Coes.

30 review for The Russian

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    While I enjoyed this fast paced story, a stronger end would have made it better. 7 of 10 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Scandal, but for dudes I couldn't help but think that The Russian is like the TV show Scandal, but if it were written for a male audience. Remember B613, that show's super-secret government black ops agency? Protagonists Billy Cosgrove and Rob Tacoma are running an operation that's a bit like that. I imagine The Russian as an account of what Rowan, Jake, Huck, and Charlie were doing on the days when they weren't interacting with Olivia Pope's Gladiators. It was definitely action-packed, and the b Scandal, but for dudes I couldn't help but think that The Russian is like the TV show Scandal, but if it were written for a male audience. Remember B613, that show's super-secret government black ops agency? Protagonists Billy Cosgrove and Rob Tacoma are running an operation that's a bit like that. I imagine The Russian as an account of what Rowan, Jake, Huck, and Charlie were doing on the days when they weren't interacting with Olivia Pope's Gladiators. It was definitely action-packed, and the body count is high. (I think Tacoma assassinates more unsavory characters than 24's Jack Bauer.) Personally, I like a bit more intrigue mixed into my thrillers, but your preferences may vary. I would have enjoyed The Russian more if a few research issues were addressed, particularly in the beginning. The Florida guy who's promising "Tough Leadership for a Better America" is supposedly a Democrat, and the New York Irishman is allegedly a Republican. Connecticut hasn't had a Republican in the Senate since the 1980s. Why all the political "unicorns"? I think these changes are an effort to make these minor characters sound interesting, but they fall flat because they just add unnecessary cognitive dissonance to the storyline. Speaking of politics, the section with the weird hijinks with the US Constitution bugged me, too. Pulling a "secret" part of the document out of a fancy safe was silly and unneeded. Plenty of presidents have signed executive orders that have been hidden from the public. Many, many pages could have been cut by simply signing a document and calling in the Gang of Eight. While the writing in The Russian could be tightened up a lot, I guess if you wish Scandal had a lot more of B613 in it, then it may be for you. 2.5 stars rounded up. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a DRC of this novel, which will be available for purchase on July 30th.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sean Peters

    Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and also the great author Ben Coes for a ARC copy. How excited was I when I was approved for a copy of this book, one of my favourite authors,a New York Times bestseller Ben Coes's new series, Dewey Andreas one of my favourite action book stars and now Rob Tacoma. As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most har Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and also the great author Ben Coes for a ARC copy. How excited was I when I was approved for a copy of this book, one of my favourite authors,a New York Times bestseller Ben Coes's new series, Dewey Andreas one of my favourite action book stars and now Rob Tacoma. As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless underworld, breathtaking in its violence, disturbing in its efficiency, and destructive to society at large. With conventional law enforcement methods unable to stem the tide, the President issues top secret Executive Order 12-4b3 creating a small, deadly team to take on this fight behind the scenes—a kill team. The head of the CIA’s Special Operations Group, Cosgrove, is picked to head this group and he, in turn, asks Rob Tacoma to be his deputy. Rob Tacoma—former Navy SEAL and former CIA agent—has a special reason to agree. Tacoma was raised by his grandparents after his own parents were killed by the Russian mafia. But before Tacoma can even start, Cosgrove is found murdered in his own home, as a warning from the Russian mafia itself. Now Tacoma is in charge of the team and they have their first mission, to achieve the near impossible: find and neutralize the mob boss behind Cosgrove's death. To do so means taking on practically an army in a battle where there are no rules and no limits the team being Rob Tacoma on his own, with a few backing him from behind the scenes. Branching off from his bestselling Dewey Andreas novels, this is the first in a brand new series from thriller writer Ben Coes. Exciting and fast paced, thrilling, with a wide variety of nasty characters, some returning characters as well. Some great surprises, some great action, gripping and tense and highly recommended for fans of action thrillers, my favourite. Five stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I’ll give it 3.75 stars First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ben Coes, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Steeped in politics, both recent and from the Cold War era, Ben Coes is back with a new thriller that is sure to provide his fans with something about which to talk for a while. When two prominent US politicians are assassinated on American soil within minutes of one another, many suspe I’ll give it 3.75 stars First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ben Coes, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Steeped in politics, both recent and from the Cold War era, Ben Coes is back with a new thriller that is sure to provide his fans with something about which to talk for a while. When two prominent US politicians are assassinated on American soil within minutes of one another, many suspect a planned hit. Tracing the histories of both men back to battling the Russian Mafia, many are sure this is retribution, organized by the powerful Odessa Mafia that has been controlling cities around the country for years. Feeling that there is an ongoing threat within the country that is only getting stronger, POTUS enacts a little-known codicil to the US Constitution, which will permit the ultimate retribution. After receiving the needed approval by a congressional group, a two-man team is assembled to act off the books, hunting for those responsible for the killings. One of these two is Rob Tacoma, former CIA operative who wants nothing to do with the plan. However, when something goes wrong, he sees red and will do all in his power to avenge those slain by these Russians. The hunt is on and there are truly layers of false leads, while Tacoma seeks those responsible, including the elusive Kaiser. There will be blood and bodies, but all that seems minor, as Tacoma is driven, perhaps just as much as Dewey Andreas, who is detached from this adventure. Full of twists and turns, Coes shows that he is in touch with the genre and knows how to spin a powerful tale. Recommended to those who have enjoyed some of Coes past novels, as well as readers who enjoy spy thrillers. I have long been a fan of Ben Coes and cannot get enough of Dewey Andreas. However, I have to be patient and turn my attention to Rob Tacoma, a minor character in the past who takes a front and centre role here. Tacoma seeks the quiet life, away from the bullets and bloodletting, but seems to be pulled back in when America needs him most. Sounds like Andreas, no? With little time for backstory, Coes injects Tacoma into the middle of this adventure, pushing the limits at every opportunity. With his determination and timely delivery of ‘gun justice’, Tacoma knows what needs doing and acts swiftly. Others around him serve to keep the story going, through the layers of Russians are always interesting to see, particularly the way in which Coes portrays them throughout the narrative. With short chapters and wonderful narrative momentum, Coes pushes the story along. While I cannot completely decipher why, I felt this piece lost a little of the sharp edge with which Dewey Andreas novels have come to be known. Still, I was able to progress through in short order. A great summer read, as the pages seem to melt away. I cannot wait to see what Coes has in store next! Kudos, Mr. Coes, for another great book. While perhaps not the best, we all need a little downtime, like Dewey! Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I often like action/suspense novels, but even with plot-based books, I want to care about SOMEBODY. Unfortunately, the way Coes construes character is by telling us what color skin they have, what party they vote for, what kind of shoes they wear, and what kind of car they drive. That’s an OK start, but it’s not the same thing as complex characters. If I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care if they succeed, even if they are the good guys trying to save the world. Fortunately, I didn’t s I often like action/suspense novels, but even with plot-based books, I want to care about SOMEBODY. Unfortunately, the way Coes construes character is by telling us what color skin they have, what party they vote for, what kind of shoes they wear, and what kind of car they drive. That’s an OK start, but it’s not the same thing as complex characters. If I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care if they succeed, even if they are the good guys trying to save the world. Fortunately, I didn’t squander any money on this cookie-cutter snooze-fest because NetGalley was kind enough to send me an advance copy to review. The book RELEASES JULY 30, 2019. For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog

  6. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    I’ve never read anything else by this author but, since this book is the beginning of a new series featuring Rob Tacoma, it is ok to begin here. The previous series is about a character named Dewey Andreas, who makes a cameo appearance in this book. The 29 year old Tacoma is an ex-Navy Seal who is now working in the private sector. He is brought back to work for the government, as part of a 2-man kill team, after the Russian mafia kills 2 American politicians. Soon the team is reduced to just Ta I’ve never read anything else by this author but, since this book is the beginning of a new series featuring Rob Tacoma, it is ok to begin here. The previous series is about a character named Dewey Andreas, who makes a cameo appearance in this book. The 29 year old Tacoma is an ex-Navy Seal who is now working in the private sector. He is brought back to work for the government, as part of a 2-man kill team, after the Russian mafia kills 2 American politicians. Soon the team is reduced to just Tacoma. This book is entertaining in a mindless, action movie sort of way. Tacoma is a superhero, so you can never really worry that he won’t triumph. The plot held my interest in this extremely violent testosterone-fest, full of vicious and treacherous men and beautiful women (some of whom are also vicious and treacherous). Tacoma single-handedly kills a lot of mobsters. There is also a very bloody fight club factor in the book. If you suspend disbelief and buy into the “gunfight in an airport followed by a daring escape” sort of vibe you will probably like this book. I almost abandoned the book at the beginning because the writing wasn’t really very good. The author uses too many adjectives. I don’t care about the brand of car, gun, motorcycle, shoe, etc. Sometimes things were described 2 or more times. If you tell me that a dead man’s eyes were “badly bruised”, a few paragraphs later you don’t need to tell me that his face was “badly beaten”. Why tell me repeatedly that Tacoma has dirty-blond hair? (I was glad when he finally shaved his head.) If you describe a woman as gorgeous (aren’t they all?) do you then have to tell me she has a very pretty face? I don’t care that a getaway car is a black Ferrari 458, let alone that its engine was designed by Michael Schumacher. Most of the sentences are short, until the author comes to descriptions, and then he simply gushes. “Down a gravel walkway that led from the terrace, he walked through a sweeping garden of perfectly manicured boxwoods and wild bluffs of lavender, now at the seasonal apex of their purple-colored beauty.” Nevertheless, I’d be willing to try the next book in the series. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    The Russian Mafia declares war on the U.S. by brazenly killing two high-profile politicians. So the President authorizes a small C.I.A. team to operate on American soil to root out the culprits. Now C.I.A. asset Rob Tacoma must find out who authorized the assassinations before they find him. Packed with action and political intrigue, this is an action packed roller coaster. I can't wait to read more Rob Tacoma adventures. Received a review copy from St. Martins and NetGalley. All thoughts are my The Russian Mafia declares war on the U.S. by brazenly killing two high-profile politicians. So the President authorizes a small C.I.A. team to operate on American soil to root out the culprits. Now C.I.A. asset Rob Tacoma must find out who authorized the assassinations before they find him. Packed with action and political intrigue, this is an action packed roller coaster. I can't wait to read more Rob Tacoma adventures. Received a review copy from St. Martins and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Small

    First and foremost, a thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Ben Coes has written another high-octane thriller., but with a twist.... it is NOT a Dewey Andreas one! How disappointing...NOT! THE RUSSIAN is the first in a new series featuring former CIA assassin extraordinaire Rob Tacoma. Tacoma is such a dynamic, multi dimensional character, I hardly missed Dewey! The new series still incorporates the old favorites: President Dellacourt, CIA DIRECTOR Hector C First and foremost, a thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Ben Coes has written another high-octane thriller., but with a twist.... it is NOT a Dewey Andreas one! How disappointing...NOT! THE RUSSIAN is the first in a new series featuring former CIA assassin extraordinaire Rob Tacoma. Tacoma is such a dynamic, multi dimensional character, I hardly missed Dewey! The new series still incorporates the old favorites: President Dellacourt, CIA DIRECTOR Hector Callibrisi, CIA Analyst Katie, to name a few. It is a credit to Mr. Coes that his characters are winsome and likable ( even if they are spies!) The plot is eerily prophetic - Russian mafia infiltrating and disrupting America through rampant greed and corruption. Layers upon layers of the Russian mafia’s plan in creating utter chaos in the USA is pealed away exposing the oligarch responsible. The resulting domestic war between the USA and the Russian mafia is thrilling and chilling, holding my interest throughout! Fast pacing added to the building momentum and explosive climax! Subdued but satisfying denouement, setting up interest for the next installment. Do we have to wait another year?! Highly entertaining! Highly recommended if you like political intrigue and espionage! Psst: Dewey does make a cameo appearance! But, Tacoma held his own as well as my interest throughout!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Good story. Took a bit to get into it. Needed a bit more editing work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ this is the first time I’ve read this particular author. I had some difficulty getting into the book in the beginning. One of my biggest issues was getting used to his writing style. Short choppy sentences. The editing needed a little bit of work in my advance copy. Repetitive descriptions. Light on the complexity of the characters. Plus, just getting used to who all the characters were was a lot at the Good story. Took a bit to get into it. Needed a bit more editing work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ this is the first time I’ve read this particular author. I had some difficulty getting into the book in the beginning. One of my biggest issues was getting used to his writing style. Short choppy sentences. The editing needed a little bit of work in my advance copy. Repetitive descriptions. Light on the complexity of the characters. Plus, just getting used to who all the characters were was a lot at the beginning. Then about a third of the way through, when the action really started ramping up, I settled into the story and it flowed much better for me. This book is loaded with fast paced action that does not quit. Grit, violence, and gruesome details are plentiful but are needed to add to the intensity of the story. I love the fact that the main character had carte blanche and knew how to use it! I really enjoyed Rob and his low key bad ass style. He didn’t need to show off or prove anything. Even with the load of secondary characters, he stood out from the pack. This book is a nice surprise for me as a first time reader. I wish I knew a bit more about the characters, but I understand when action is happening, who they are might take a back seat. Overall, packed with thrills, suspense, and gritty action that make make you wince a time or two. I got involved enough to know I would definitely read more from Coe. Bring it on! * copy received for review consideration Full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/the-russian-...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    At this point, I am only 16% of the way into the book and I find it hard to believe that the man who wrote this is an international bestselling author. The writing is amateurish, and for multiple reasons. First, the author has a tendency to use short, clipped sentences that he strings together, beginning each sentence with the same pronoun. This results in a sing-song description of a character that jars us out of the story rather than drawing us in (such as “He studied the growing pool of crims At this point, I am only 16% of the way into the book and I find it hard to believe that the man who wrote this is an international bestselling author. The writing is amateurish, and for multiple reasons. First, the author has a tendency to use short, clipped sentences that he strings together, beginning each sentence with the same pronoun. This results in a sing-song description of a character that jars us out of the story rather than drawing us in (such as “He studied the growing pool of crimson. He felt paralyzed. For several seconds, he had a hard time breathing. He remained still…”). Second, the tech descriptions read more like a catalog listing the qualifications of the gun or gear, compelling me to think that the author knows little about the items he includes in his book. Lastly, cursing and dropping f-bombs can work if used appropriately. Foul language never strengthens weak writing. The final piece is the over-the-top, suspend-disbelief-to-infinity plot items Mr. Coes asks us to believe. Main hero Tacoma “…pushed the Ducati to 156.7 mph, screaming into turns no sane man would take at 80.” A sniper purchases his rifle less than an hour before his lethal shot to his victim’s forehead from over 2000 feet away (that’s about seven football fields). This amazing shot apparently happened without bothering to sight in the rifle (to be fair, the author doesn’t say where it was bought or who sold it or if he had permission to sight in the rifle to hit a small target that’s almost a half mile away, so maybe this happened and we just aren’t told…or maybe the useless detail that the sniper just purchased the gun shouldn’t have been mentioned). There are more, including an amazing unknown codicil to the U. S. Constitution that allows the President to act almost like a monarchy, even more amazing when you consider all the Founding Fathers signed it. And this all happens during the first 50 pages or so. Though the writing gets a little better after that, the unbelievable continues to happen, including the conversations involving high ranking politicians. Discussions between other characters descend from dramatic to melodramatic on several occasions. I was expecting much more, based upon the author’s reputation and string of bestsellers. To say the least, I was disappointed. Fans of Mr. Coes will probably love this book. There is plenty of action and little time to waste on delving into the different characters and what makes them tick. If you like riveting spy stories that get you involved with the characters and keep you on the edge of your seat, I recommend you pass on “The Russian.” Two stars. My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance electronic copy of this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    The Russian Mafia wants a war? It seems so when two popular politicians are assassinated by Russian agents virtually simultaneously. The President seeks permission from members of the Senate to make use of a little-known codicil to the Constitution that allows him to enact temporary law in emergency situations, to make use of extreme force on domestic soil. Two highly-skilled operatives are called into play but one is assassinated almost immediately. Obviously the mafia has their eye on the situ The Russian Mafia wants a war? It seems so when two popular politicians are assassinated by Russian agents virtually simultaneously. The President seeks permission from members of the Senate to make use of a little-known codicil to the Constitution that allows him to enact temporary law in emergency situations, to make use of extreme force on domestic soil. Two highly-skilled operatives are called into play but one is assassinated almost immediately. Obviously the mafia has their eye on the situation. The other agent, Rob Tacoma, must try to stay under their radar and learn who is calling the shots in this so-called 'war.' This is the first thriller I have read by Ben Coes and I thought this first book in a new series would be a good place to start. Although there's a bit of confusion at the beginning of the novel while introducing several characters and threads of the plot, I soon found myself immersed in the story. Lots of exciting action keeps the plot moving swiftly along. Fans of the genre written by the likes of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn are sure to like this thriller too. The ending leaves room for more to come in this series. I received an arc of this thriller from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I apologize for taking so long to finally read it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    This was a highly entertaining and quick paced story typical of one of my favorite authors, Ben Coes. Many twists and turns made the book hard to put down.. It is the first in a new Coes series that I was looking forward to, but was disappointed with the ending related to the villain. It didn’t make sense to me, but admit it is a natural lead-in to the next book in the series. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This probably is a 4 star book. The only problem is the book I finished reading before this one was Redemption (an Amos Decker series novel) which was also about the Russian mafia. Is 2019 the year of bashing Russian mafia???? I have run into this previously with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan... The book was also on the too violent easy killing side for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I was excited when I saw this author had a new book in a new series, more excited when I started reading this one and saw that it had characters we knew from the Dewey series. This book really put Rob through the wringer. I like that people believed in Rob, but at times it seemed like they were asking too much of him. Yet Rob stepped up each time and did what was needed. By the end they all knew more, but now Rob has been exposed, which can't bode well for him.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    This is the first in a series featuring Dewey Andreas's sidekick, Rob Tacoma, who is a tough guy in his own right. He heads up a private contracting company with his partner, Jennifer. When the Russian mob kills two high profile politicians, Tacoma is sent to take them down. He starts taking violent action, getting himself in deeper and deeper. Very exciting, highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was a solid 4.5 stars raised to a 5. It is also the start of a new series. Rob Tacoma, ex-Seal and CIA Agent, is called back to a special assignment with one more former Agent. When he gets to the man’s house to meet him he sees that he has been brutally murdered. It is also believed that two people running for President were also murdered and that Russian monsters are behind it. It is well plotted and well written and the reader will find himself reading when he should be doing other thing This was a solid 4.5 stars raised to a 5. It is also the start of a new series. Rob Tacoma, ex-Seal and CIA Agent, is called back to a special assignment with one more former Agent. When he gets to the man’s house to meet him he sees that he has been brutally murdered. It is also believed that two people running for President were also murdered and that Russian monsters are behind it. It is well plotted and well written and the reader will find himself reading when he should be doing other things. Lots and lots of action. Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    Another excellent thriller by Ben Coes. This one features Rob Tacoma instead of Dewey Andreas but it is as good as the Andreas novels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    wally

    finished this morning the 14th of december 2019 good read four stars really liked it kindle library loaner first from coes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    I’ve read, reviewed and very much enjoyed all seven of this author’s books featuring Dewey Andreas; and after finishing these books, I was immediately ready to volunteer (at least in terms of my reading time) to go out with Andreas on his next mission. My anticipation of the next “Coes Book” stemmed from my expectation of being treated to another highly exciting, torn-from-the-headlines plot-driven, action-filled thriller featuring a complex, well-developed main character, and a cast of well eno I’ve read, reviewed and very much enjoyed all seven of this author’s books featuring Dewey Andreas; and after finishing these books, I was immediately ready to volunteer (at least in terms of my reading time) to go out with Andreas on his next mission. My anticipation of the next “Coes Book” stemmed from my expectation of being treated to another highly exciting, torn-from-the-headlines plot-driven, action-filled thriller featuring a complex, well-developed main character, and a cast of well enough developed secondary characters. One of the secondary characters I got to know pretty well is Rob Tacoma, who is the main heroic character in The Russian, the first in a new series by Ben Coes. Having finished The Russian (which was provided to me by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review), my bottom-line opinion is that while it fast-paced and held my interest, it is my least favorite book by Ben Coes. One primary reason for feeling this way is that while The Russian is filled with virtually non-stop action from beginning to end, I found Coes did a below-average, somewhat lazy job in developing both his main character and, especially his secondary and tertiary characters. Though I’m exaggerating a bit, too often characterizations were limited to little more than a character being described as tall or short, thin or more full-bodied, good-looking or ugly, etc. As such, I never came to care much about the characters — including Rob Tacoma, with whom, as mentioned above, I was already somewhat familiar. My second primary reason is that, unlike in previous books whose plots I considered to be complex with an above average amount of surprising twists and turns, I found the plot of The Russian to be much more simplistic and less interesting in scope, more limited in regards to surprising plot twists, and somewhat formulaic and predictable. Despite these areas of comparative disappointment, The Russian did hold my attention throughout and had A LOT of action; and so, while maybe not with the same level of anticipation as in the past, I’ll likely be a reader of the second book in the series featuring Rob Tacoma. #The Russian #Net Galley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tish

    3.5 stars. I didn't round up because there wasn't much character development, which I don't find essential for this type of book, but would have given it that boost. Anyway, this was an exciting, action-packed (and somewhat gory) spy thriller. I thought it needed a bit more editing: for example, some of the changes from one chapter to another seemed awkward. In another example, a character descends from a helicopter, crosses a lawn and enters a house. In the next paragraph, he gets out of the he 3.5 stars. I didn't round up because there wasn't much character development, which I don't find essential for this type of book, but would have given it that boost. Anyway, this was an exciting, action-packed (and somewhat gory) spy thriller. I thought it needed a bit more editing: for example, some of the changes from one chapter to another seemed awkward. In another example, a character descends from a helicopter, crosses a lawn and enters a house. In the next paragraph, he gets out of the helicopter again. Additionally, there were several implausibilities that could have been dealt with better. Even I, far from a CIA field agent, know that (view spoiler)[just because someone has been shot and has fallen to the floor, you can't assume they are dead and no longer a threat (hide spoiler)] ! But, as I said before, it was exciting and action-packed, so an enjoyable read. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC for review purposes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Hair ⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings about this one. Rob Tacoma is definitely my other favorite from Dewey's series and I'm beyond excited that he got his own series. The Russian was fast paced. To me it was a faster than Dewey's and easier to read. However there are couple points that annoy me. First, the hair! Almost every character description is about the hair. I think we just want to know about the main guys/gal. I certainly don't care which side the bad actor hair is parted or that the sur Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Hair ⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings about this one. Rob Tacoma is definitely my other favorite from Dewey's series and I'm beyond excited that he got his own series. The Russian was fast paced. To me it was a faster than Dewey's and easier to read. However there are couple points that annoy me. First, the hair! Almost every character description is about the hair. I think we just want to know about the main guys/gal. I certainly don't care which side the bad actor hair is parted or that the surgeon's hair was blonde, he was there for three sentences. Coes should move away from the hair. Second, Katie. She was emotional and unprofessional. And to state Rob Tacoma against 4 goons is suicide mission/surrounded? I don't buy that. Lastly, the last showdown felt rushed. It ended well but could've been better. Parts were edited out or forgotten .. scratched my head didn't know how Igor figure out what he did.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary S. R.

    3.45 STARS RTC I received an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Slaven Tomasi

    Ben Coes, a veteran thriller writer and New York Times Bestseller brings a new hero in the thriller genre, Robert Tacoma, a tier one former SEAL. First introduced in The Last Refuge, Dewey Andreas series number 3 and seen in every novel since then. Tacoma and friend, Katie Fox have started an independent firm, RISCON. The fee to hire this firm usually runs into the six figures range. With the collapse of the USSR post the Cold War, the U.S. was the winner, but in doing so, they created the Russia Ben Coes, a veteran thriller writer and New York Times Bestseller brings a new hero in the thriller genre, Robert Tacoma, a tier one former SEAL. First introduced in The Last Refuge, Dewey Andreas series number 3 and seen in every novel since then. Tacoma and friend, Katie Fox have started an independent firm, RISCON. The fee to hire this firm usually runs into the six figures range. With the collapse of the USSR post the Cold War, the U.S. was the winner, but in doing so, they created the Russian Mafia. A worldwide organization worth billions that supports murder, drugs, drug distribution, prostitution, human trafficking, car theft, and cyber warfare. With illegal activities in just about every major city in the U.S. it has become a problem local and federal law enforcement cannot successfully manage. When two United States politicians are assassinated, U.S. President, President J.P. Dellenbaugh decides extreme action is needed. A secret addendum to the U.S. Constitution exists which grants the President the power to enact temporary law in dire situations with unanimous approval of the overseeing Senate committee. Last used by former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 to help aid the British in their efforts to stop Hitler. Getting approval for the new law, President Dellenbaugh gives CIA Director Hector Calibrisi his marching orders. Assemble a two-man team to “operate” on U.S. soil and target the Russian Mafia responsible for the deaths of the two prominent politicians and give them “full lethal protocol.” All these fancy terms are just that, in reality the word “operate” has a very specific meaning to the veteran CIA director. This team is being assembled to kill everyone involved. The first recruit, Billy Cosgrove a former Navy Seal and currently part of CIA’s SOG. Currently running all the kill teams in the mountains bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. After a strict vetting process, he is recruited, interviewed and agrees to the job. Then he goes home and gets murdered. The second team member, Robert Tacoma. Also, a former Navy SEAL and currently part owner of RISCON. Tacoma is an absolute must for this team from Director Calibrisi, having the highest kill ratio in CIA history. Working on his own, he is tasked with a mission that no sane person would accept. The Russian Mafia, having practically unlimited funds, supplies, weapons, and access to intelligence that puts them steps ahead of our team that is down to one. The Russian is a fresh new series from a veteran author who knows his stuff. Being well versed in the military myself, his dialogue clearly differentiates the differences between the various military units, their purpose, their effectiveness and their roles, units such as DEVGRU aka Seal Team Six and the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment aka Delta. The Russian captures you from the very beginning, setting the tone, showing the reader the Russian Mafia is brutal, fierce and unafraid to do whatever it takes to remain in the game. With hand to hand combat, knife fights, sniper fire, kill teams, and brutal adversaries that remain in the shadows and one surprise cameo, this thriller is an absolute must read. Earning itself a rare but fully deserved Blast Radius of a Nuclear Bomb, The Russian needs a spot on your summer reading list

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    The publication of THE RUSSIAN heralds the beginning of a new series by Ben Coes. Those who are familiar with Coes through his work on the Dewey Andreas novels have a good idea what to expect from him, and he meets and exceeds those expectations in this real-world thriller that is jammed to the brim with everything that suspense readers love and, with Coes, always get --- well-defined and memorable characters; multiple plot twists; and enough explosions, gunfights and hand-to-hand combat to fill The publication of THE RUSSIAN heralds the beginning of a new series by Ben Coes. Those who are familiar with Coes through his work on the Dewey Andreas novels have a good idea what to expect from him, and he meets and exceeds those expectations in this real-world thriller that is jammed to the brim with everything that suspense readers love and, with Coes, always get --- well-defined and memorable characters; multiple plot twists; and enough explosions, gunfights and hand-to-hand combat to fill three books. Or more. THE RUSSIAN begins with the near-simultaneous assassinations of a Florida governor and a United States senator. Though these politicians were on opposite sides of the aisle, they had a common cause: combatting the aggregation of families known collectively as the Russian mafia. As is noted late in the book, the collapse of the Soviet Union near the end of the 20th century resulted in the takeover of the criminal underworld in the United States by the Russian mob at the dawn of the 21st. To say that the mob will not go down without a fight is not accurate; it isn’t planning to go down at all. The President of the United States, who is a scrapper himself, isn’t about to let the assassinations of two elected officials go unanswered. He puts together an off-the-books team to deal with the matter, which includes hitting the Russian mafia at both their home base and our own. One of its members, former Navy SEAL Rob Tacoma, has his own personal score to settle with the Russian mafia. What is quickly revealed is that the assassinations are the work of one of the Russian crime families who are interested in starting up a war among the other major players from which they hope to emerge as the sole major player. Tacoma is dead set against that happening. As is revealed in these early pages, he co-owns a major security consulting group and is more than capable of dealing with whatever is thrown at him by the powerful crime syndicate. Much of THE RUSSIAN is a cat-and-mouse hunt between Tacoma and the very dangerous players he is up against, with both sides trading the roles of Tom and Jerry. There is quite a bit of high-tech investigation running through the story, but at its rapidly beating heart is a series of up-close-and-personal battles of the deadliest sort. While much is resolved by the book’s conclusion, there are more than enough plot threads left over to keep old and new fans of Coes’ work waiting impatiently for the next installment. As for those who were hoping for another Dewey Andreas novel, you will not be disappointed on any level. THE RUSSIAN is a breath of fresh air. Make that a gust. It is refreshingly free of the scales that seem to cover the eyes of more and more genre fiction these days, and is written without a whiff of the virtue-signaling that stops many novels dead in their tracks. These two attributes would make this book --- and all of Coes’ other work --- worth your time and money all by themselves, but its other superlative qualities noted earlier will keep you coming back and reading throughout the night in order to finish in one sitting what you started. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacqui

    Ex-Navy SEAL and top tier operator Rob Tacoma is the star of Ben Coes' latest book, The Russian (St. Martins Press 2019), first in a new series. Tacoma is recruited by the CIA's Hector Calibrisi (a name we know from the Dewey Andreas series) to battle the Russian Mafia after it kills two well-respected Washington politicians, both of whom actively fought to stop their illegal activities in the US. Tacoma is selected to be part of a two man team licensed to kill within the country but before they Ex-Navy SEAL and top tier operator Rob Tacoma is the star of Ben Coes' latest book, The Russian (St. Martins Press 2019), first in a new series. Tacoma is recruited by the CIA's Hector Calibrisi (a name we know from the Dewey Andreas series) to battle the Russian Mafia after it kills two well-respected Washington politicians, both of whom actively fought to stop their illegal activities in the US. Tacoma is selected to be part of a two man team licensed to kill within the country but before they even start, the other member is murdered. Where Tacoma was on the fence about taking the job (he was happy enough with his post-SEAL life so why get into a political mess?), the violent way the Russians killed his would-be partner was all the motivation he needed. And the battle is on. Though Tacoma can do pretty much anything needed to catch those behind the Russian Mafia, he is on his own. Well, him and a few geeks which doesn't bother Tacoma at all. The book is non-stop action, quick decisions, clever solutions to problems, and exactly the type of plotting we've come to expect from Coes as it relates to Dewey Andreas--except now, the hero's name is Rob Tacoma. I admit, I started out petulant and angry because my beloved Dewey Andreas wouldn’t be saving the day. Instead, some guy I didn't know or trust would be doing the heavy lifting. I think that lasted about ten pages, thanks to Coes' excellent writing, detailed plotting, and the absolute greatness of this new character. I’ve often wished I could read the Dewey Andreas series again for the first time. Now, thanks to Tacoma, I can (kind of; you get my point). Overall, this is a political thriller as only Ben Coes can write. Highly recommended if you like strong character who are human, and never back away from trying the impossible.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    Ben Coes just keeps getting better and better. In 2019 he opted for a twist on the "regular" thriller schedule, and rather than introducing another novel in his Dewey Andreas series, he has written The Russian, a novel for Rob Tacoma. Rob is not a stranger to fans of Coes as he is a character that has been involved with Dewey in previous novels. This book gives readers that rare deeper look into the life and mind of another character in the world created by skilled authors. As is normal for Coes, Ben Coes just keeps getting better and better. In 2019 he opted for a twist on the "regular" thriller schedule, and rather than introducing another novel in his Dewey Andreas series, he has written The Russian, a novel for Rob Tacoma. Rob is not a stranger to fans of Coes as he is a character that has been involved with Dewey in previous novels. This book gives readers that rare deeper look into the life and mind of another character in the world created by skilled authors. As is normal for Coes, and within the genre, the plot appears to be something right out of the newspaper (that is old school for where news was read) or off of the headlines reported by any news outlet. The Russian mob can easily trace its roots to the breakup of the Soviet Union. In the void created by the change in government influential and enterprising individuals, often already in powerful positions, took control of industry and resources within Russia and gave birth to the oligarch and the Russian mafia. With little morals other than the lust for power and money, these individuals and families spread throughout the world and deal in drugs, human trafficking, gambling, and anything else they can find a way to monetize. In an attempt for additional power grabs, a sitting US Senator and a presidential candidate/Governor of Florida are assassinated for their hard line stance and fight against the Russian mafia in the US. The CIA enlists Tacoma and his skills as a member of a team established to uncover those responsible and take the fight directly to them. I think fans of Dewey Andreas will enjoy this book and the Rob Tacoma storyline. Coes also does a good job with character setup that anyone not already familiar with the name, and some of his background will be able to enjoy this story and feel up to speed. The book is action packed. In a twist from many novels in the genre, the fight against evil is almost exclusively waged within the continental US, which adds an interesting element to the story. This book is a great addition to a packed summer line up in 2019. I give it 9.5 out of 10 stars, and look forward to future stories with Rob Tacoma. I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts and opinions. I extend my gratitude to them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review. THE RUSSIAN by Ben Coes is a well written novel that is based on a theme that has become popular since the fall of the Soviet Union; the Russian Mob is the focus of this novel along with a special forces agent by the name of Rob Tacoma who is experienced with a history of being successful in difficult assignments, and he might be the only one capable of stopping the threat involving high level political figure I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review. THE RUSSIAN by Ben Coes is a well written novel that is based on a theme that has become popular since the fall of the Soviet Union; the Russian Mob is the focus of this novel along with a special forces agent by the name of Rob Tacoma who is experienced with a history of being successful in difficult assignments, and he might be the only one capable of stopping the threat involving high level political figures that have been targeted. Armed with the skill set he’s acquired through brutal training and previous missions, his selection is also based on a revenge factor, as his father was killed by the Russian mob in the past, and eventually he reluctantly agrees to accept this dangerous assignment that seems to be more of a suicide mission for him than his having a chance to succeed; let alone survive. Several figures associated with the Russian mob figure heavily into Rob’s mission, one is an American politician who is in deep to the Russian mob, and his betrayal has been well hidden previously, yet recent demands placed upon him leave him exposed to being discovered as the traitor he is. Two more people are capable of seeing an end to the threat that Rob poses to the mob; one a beautiful but deadly agent, and another who is a brutal and feared crime boss. Can Rob succeed in the face of the seemingly impossible odds to be successful in a mission where he is on his own facing up against the power and resources of the large faction of the mob he’s attempting to bring down? Great action in this one, and while it is based on some well used subjects in the storytelling, it does so in a way that while it seems too incredible to be true, it actually hits the mark. 4 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    I like international espionage novels pitting a super hero against a nearly indestructible organization out to control the world. This novel is a close fit. Tacoma, something like a CIA agent, is pitted against the Russian mob in America. While this is something like the ninth novel Coes has written, it is the first of his I've read. I liked it. I liked the superhero Tacoma. He can beat up any thug who comes against him. He can kill every enemy before they even have a chance to point their weapon I like international espionage novels pitting a super hero against a nearly indestructible organization out to control the world. This novel is a close fit. Tacoma, something like a CIA agent, is pitted against the Russian mob in America. While this is something like the ninth novel Coes has written, it is the first of his I've read. I liked it. I liked the superhero Tacoma. He can beat up any thug who comes against him. He can kill every enemy before they even have a chance to point their weapon at him. He can sneak through impenetrable razor wire fences. Well, you get the idea. And he is supported by amazing tech people who can use satellites to warn Tacoma about the armed guy coming up on his left. In addition to over the top suspense is a bit of information about the Russian mafia. The break-up of the Soviet Union provided a huge opportunity for powerful men to control drug trade. In this novel, the Russian mafia is looking to increase their control in America. Only Tacoma can stop them. This is a good novel for readers who like a high body count and an indestructible hero. Yes, I noticed some odd and inconsistent aspects to the plot, but all in all, a good novel with which to escape daily chores. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    What can you expect from Ben Coes? Nothing but pure awesome! A new twist with an old enemy. The good old Russians. This time, coming from inside America herself. No rules. No government bureaucrats. Instead, the Mafia comes back, with a vengeance. More ruthless and brutal than ever. Who can stop the latest attack on freedom? A familiar face. Rob Tacoma. He has been handed a full presidential pardon forgiving any and all action. A free pass to go hunting. This is just a fantastic book that is all ac What can you expect from Ben Coes? Nothing but pure awesome! A new twist with an old enemy. The good old Russians. This time, coming from inside America herself. No rules. No government bureaucrats. Instead, the Mafia comes back, with a vengeance. More ruthless and brutal than ever. Who can stop the latest attack on freedom? A familiar face. Rob Tacoma. He has been handed a full presidential pardon forgiving any and all action. A free pass to go hunting. This is just a fantastic book that is all action from the beginning. It starts off strong and never lets up. Absolutely can't wait for the next in the new series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    Having heard from allot of friends about his first "thriller" series starring Dewey Andreas, I looked forward to reading this new series from the beginning and as it enfolds over the next few novels. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. The main character is a cross between the Terminator and Jackie Chan, in that he is unkillable, and a killing machine to boot. The problem for me was that it was like reading the script of a B-Movie with as much mayhem and bloody encounters as possible. In one Having heard from allot of friends about his first "thriller" series starring Dewey Andreas, I looked forward to reading this new series from the beginning and as it enfolds over the next few novels. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. The main character is a cross between the Terminator and Jackie Chan, in that he is unkillable, and a killing machine to boot. The problem for me was that it was like reading the script of a B-Movie with as much mayhem and bloody encounters as possible. In one encounter with the bad guys, he kills five trained operatives in a span of ten minutes in an airport. Every bullet entry is described in gory detail while people waiting to board their planes run helter-skelter from the bullets. The bad guys are Eastern Europeans with bad accents and worse dialog. Woman love him and men are impressed by his physical abilities and impossible skills with a gun. All in all pretty undramatic. It seems that Coes just typed his way through this like an actor doing the same part too many times (i.e. Arnold or Van Damme). Very disappointing.

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