"Book Two in the Pike Logan Military Thriller Series Has Even More Surprises"
Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
Posted January 14, 2012
Jennifer and Pike have started a cover organization useful
to the Task Force. Ostensibly it exists to provide support
to archaeological teams heading into marginal areas. They
are on a benign cover - creating trip when suddenly
indicators in several intelligence agencies spike red. There
is something big coming down and no one has specifics.
Jennifer, Pike and a few members of Task Force may be in the
right place to risk it all and save the day. Or get shot
down before they even get started.
Pike's continuing struggle with the darkness inside him
occasionally shadows the main events, adding a depth and
poignancy to a damn fine military thriller.
Like his first novel One Rough man, ALL NECESSARY
FORCE is written with a gritty realism difficult to capture.
It also tells a great story, keeping me on a knife-edge of
This second in the Pike Logan series begins in the Cambodia
of the 1970's then veers to the Sudan of a few years ago
before settling in to the main narrative. One of the
weaknesses of complexly plotted thrillers is the need to
cover ground important but tangential to the central story,
not easily done without losing the reader right off the bat.
But Brad Taylor despite this being only his second novel
handled the lead-ins like a master, using pithy prose and
vivid character sketches to bring the scenes alive and keep
them memorable enough to fulfill their roles later in the
Another strong skill is illustrated when it becomes
necessary to explain and expound on military or government
acronyms and obscure terms relating to computer and
information technology. I have often experienced an
unpleasant disruption in the narrative flow when otherwise
experienced authors attempt to teach at the expense of their
storyline. Brad Taylor has grasped the knack of giving us
enough information for understanding without affecting the
level of suspense he is building. I am now a solid fan, and
look forward to (hopefully) many books to come.
Retired Delta Force officer Brad Taylor-whose debut
thriller, One Rough Man, was a national
bestseller-continues his electrifying Pike Logan series.
A terrorist hit is coming.
The CIA, FBI, and Department of Defense systems have
spiked, but traditional intel is going nowhere. It falls to
the Taskforce-a top- secret team that exists outside the
bounds of U.S. law and is charged with finding and
destroying asymmetric threats-to stop the unknown
A shadowy trail leads the Taskforce through Asia and into
Egypt, where an attack leaves one hardened Taskforce member
dead and another barely breathing. Pike Logan and his
partner, Jennifer Cahill, are forced to helm the
increasingly convoluted and dangerous mission-a mission that
tests Jennifer's ability to justify means for an end and
Pike's tenuous ability to stay in control. Sifting their way
through the opposing plots of two terrorist organizations
will turn out to be the least of their problems when a
weapon of unthinkable power touches American soil . . . the
only country in which Taskforce members are forbidden to
operate, and the only country that Pike Logan may be unable
Told with unparalleled realism informed by Taylor's
decades of experience in the U.S. Army Infantry and Delta
Force, All Necessary Force takes readers on a
terrifying journey that ends at our own front door.
ExcerptJennifer was halfway up the drainpipe to the third floor
when she heard movement below her. She saw three men
milling around the corner of the building, half in and half
out of the shadows. Her foot slid against the pipe, making
a soft clanking noise. She held her breath. Please don't
When Pike had made the monkey comment, she knew they
were talking about her. At first, she had violently
disagreed, saying that Johnny was right. There was just too
much risk. Pike had worn her down until she eventually
agreed to at least see if she could climb the building
before she made a decision. She knew it was a simple four-
story square from her earlier visit, but she hadn't really
looked for a way up on the outside.
It turned out to have a solid drainpipe on the back
corner, which was hidden in the shadows from the street.
Each floor had what looked like a six-inch ledge circling
the building, with a six-foot alley separating the target
from the buildings next door. The cameras in question were
on the third floor.
She knew she could climb the building with ease. Pike
knew it too and had worked on her until she agreed. In
truth, she had secretly been a little thrilled by the
challenge. Now, twenty-four hours later, her hands becoming
slippery in the cloying humid air, she wondered what the
hell she'd been thinking.
Her earpiece crackled, and Pike's voice came through
like a megaphone. "Koko, you set yet?"
Jesus Christ, that was loud. She looked down and saw
that there were only two men now. Neither glanced up. She
clicked twice for no, then clicked rapidly four times. She
heard the crackle again while still fumbling with her
"I understand you have a situation."
She clicked once for yes.
"Roger. I copy. Do you need assistance?"
She thought about it, knowing assistance would cause the
mission to be scratched. She didn't want to be the reason
for that. If they didn't hear the first transmission, they
won't hear me move. As long as I'm careful. She clicked
twice, and slowly began to climb.
Five minutes and two near-slips later, she was on the
third-floor ledge, looking at the cameras seventy feet away.
"Pike, this is Koko. I'm on the third floor."
Stupid call sign. While at Solo, Jennifer had explained
to Knuckles the importance of the Java man hominid and his
possible link between apes and humans. She had made the
mistake of talking about Koko, a lowland gorilla that could
communicate in sign language. Knuckles had then given her
the name as her call sign for the mission. It had done no
good to explain that lowland gorillas weren't monkeys.
"Roger," Pike said. "Standing by."
Movement inside the building caught her attention. She
could see the glass cases of the jewelry wholesaler in the
security lighting, full of samples for retailers to peruse.
Just outside the door, behind the bars, stood a man.
"Pike, there's someone inside the building. At the
There was a pause, then, "Roger. Security guard?"
"No. Stand by."
The man had bent down and opened a duffel bag. He pulled
out a hammer and a canvas sack, setting them carefully on
the ground next to the door. Then he pulled out a cordless
"He's a thief. He's got a drill. He's breaking in." Her
voice came out rushed and panicky, embarrassing her.
Pike's came back like he was ordering doughnuts. "Roger
all. Break-break, Johnny, we're aborting. I say again,
"Roger. I copy."
Jennifer cut in. "Pike, I can't get down. There's two
men at the bottom of my drainpipe. I can't jump from this
Pike's voice reflected urgency for the first time. "I
copy. What's the guy inside doing?"
The man had placed his duffel bag by the stairwell and
was kneeling in front of the door, working a drill bit into
the drill. The canvas sack and hammer were by his side.
Clearly, he intended to defeat the lock, set off the alarm,
then use the hammer to smash the glass cases in the jewelry
store, stealing whatever he could before the police arrived.
"He's preparing to drill the lock. When he gets through
that, the alarm's going to go off."
"Roger. Johnny, how'd he get in? Has he already set off
"I won't know for sure without the SCADA, but I don't
think so. My bet is that alarm is pretty damn loud. I doubt
they'd have just a silent one."
The man had finished with the bit and began working the
"Pike, he's drilling."
Pike came back immediately. "Go to the camera. Initiate
the slave unit. Johnny, shut off the alarm. Don't let it go
Jennifer had begun moving before he was done, reaching
the camera in seconds. She heard Johnny say, "Then what?"
followed by Pike's "How the fuck should I know? One step at
She found the wire with the red stripe leading out of
the camera. Should be the data line. She pulled out the
slave unit, a device the size of an average pager with a
small antenna on the side. On the bottom were two claws
designed to cut through the insulation to the metal
beneath. She clamped the unit onto the wire, seeing a
blinking red light. This is great. The alarm's going to go
off and I'm going to have a spotlight on my ass like a bad
King Kong movie.
She watched the man drill, her stomach knotting up. She
saw the slave unit begin blinking alternately green and
red, meaning it had the data line and was doing an
encrypted handshake with Johnny's receiver. She knew once
it went pure green, it would take a few seconds for the
hacking team in Washington, D.C., to gain control. Come on,
come on. The man pulled back, shaking his hands and resting
for a couple of seconds. Then he returned to the lock.
* * * * * * *
Knuckles, Bull, and I were just outside the front door,
where I could see the leads to an alarm system. How the
fuck did that guy get in?
Knuckles was grinning a little. "I told you this was a
I nudged Bull. "Time to beat your record."
He pulled out a lockpick kit and selected a couple of
tools. We could have used something like an electric rake
gun, but those types of things left marks, and we were
supposed to be in and out without any evidence. Luckily,
Bull was the fastest I had ever seen at cracking an unknown
lock mechanically. He could go through five doors in the
time it took me to do one.
While he inserted the tools into the bolt lock, Knuckles
and I slid a piece of Kevlar fabric that looked like a
deflated tube balloon between the joint of the door and
wall, just underneath the knob. Once Bull opened the bolt
lock, we'd inflate the balloon using a compressed CO2
cartridge, which would separate the joint far enough apart
to spring the doorknob with a screwdriver.
We waited for the all-clear from Johnny, like a NASCAR
pit crew. I heard Jennifer say, "I've got green. Shut it
off. Shut it off. He's leaning into the drill. He's close."
Johnny said, "We're working it. Hold on."
Not enough time. I whispered to Knuckles and Bull, "Get
ready to run to the drainpipe. Looks like a hot exfil."
Jennifer came back on. "Shit. He's in."
* * * * * * *
Jennifer watched the thief kick open the door. She
tensed, waiting for the earsplitting sound of an alarm. She
started when she heard Johnny through her earpiece instead.
"I have control. The alarm's off. I can see both the two
outside and the asshole inside."
She sagged against the wall, watching the man run inside
with his hammer and sack. After a few steps, he stopped,
looking at the ceiling and wondering why the alarm hadn't
triggered. Then he sauntered over to the first glass case
and smashed it with a hammer. Reaching inside, he began
stuffing his sack.
Pike came on. "All elements, we're going to take care of
the burglar, then get Jennifer inside the building through
a window. We'll exfil together out the front."
Seeing the bars on the windows of the jewelry
wholesaler, Jennifer said, "Pike, the windows here are
sealed for security. I can get down to the second floor
without those guys seeing me. Then you wouldn't have to
mess with the burglar."
"Sorry. I'm not helping these assholes clean out that
jewelry store. We shut off the alarm for them. Find another
window while we deal with him."
Huh. Didn't expect that. She looked up and saw a window
above her cracked a few inches. "The fourth floor's good. I
see an open window."
"Okay. We're inside. Wait until I call again, then meet
us in the jewelry store."
Johnny cut in. "Koko, didn't you say the travel agency
was on the fourth floor?"
Jennifer clicked once, not stopping her climb.
"You still have the thumb drive?"
Now on the fourth-floor ledge, she stopped and
said, "Yeah. I'll see what I can do."
She snaked through the window and retraced her steps
from a few days ago. Within short order, she was inside
Noordin's office, waking up his computer. When it came to
life, she saw a password screen. She shut down the
computer, inserted the thumb drive, and rebooted. When the
screen came back up, she was inside his system. She
accessed the Internet and typed in the Web page Johnny had
given her. The only thing on the screen was a button that
said Enter. She clicked on it. Nothing appeared to happen.
"Johnny, I'm inside and clicked on the Web page, but it
didn't do anything."
"It's not supposed to. We got it. We're good."
She left the office exactly as she found it, rebooting
the computer to bring up the password screen. She reached
the stairwell and was about to head down when her radio
"Pike, the other two assholes have entered the building.
They're in the stairwell headed up."
* * * * * * *
We had just finished tying up the first thief when the
call came in. Shit, Jennifer's going to run into them. A
second later, I was thinking that wasn't a bad idea.
"Koko, this is Pike. Come down the stairs until you see
them. Let them get a good look at you, then haul ass to the
jewelry store. Come right through the door. You copy?"
After a pause, I heard, "Uhh . . . Okay. You'd better be
"We'll be there. Hurry."
Bull and Knuckles looked at me like I had started
"Bull, get over by the counter. Knuckles, grab that
Knuckles got the idea and laid it in front of the door,
me on one end and him on the other.
Jennifer came on, out of breath. "I'm on the way! And
they're right behind me!"
Seconds later she came flying through the door. Once she
passed, we raised the chain to ankle height. Both thieves
hit it at a dead sprint, sending them sailing across the
floor and crashing headfirst into the wall. Bull was on
them immediately, but it was unnecessary. Like their
partner, they were out cold.
Knuckles stood up, surveying the damage. "Man, what a
clusterfuck. It's great being back with you, Pike."
Jennifer was sucking in oxygen as if she'd just run five
miles, her hand on her knees, still pumped by the
adrenaline, but the comment brought out a laugh. "Look at
the bright side. At least we accomplished the mission."
Bull stared at her for a second, apparently sizing her
up for the first time. "Yeah, I guess you did."
I winked at Jennifer. Another believer. She grinned.
"Well," I said, "if you guys think I can get us out of
here without a lightning strike, I say we take these
assholes out and drop them off somewhere. When they wake
up, they won't come back here and certainly won't be going
to the police about a bunch of gringos."
Bull said, "What about all the damage in here? This
wasn't too clandestine."
"Let'em think Batman showed up."
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