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DISRUPTION by Chuck Barrett
Reviewed by Clay Snellgrove

Disruption is the fourth installment in author Chuck Barrett’s action-packed Jake Pendleton series. Pendleton, a Navy Intelligence Officer turned covert operative, is tracking a super-hacker known only as Boris. Only after Boris manages to barely avoid capture does Pendleton and his team discover the hacker is aiding an international terrorist in his plan to throw the world’s digital landscape into chaos. This chaos, known throughout the cyber community as disruption, will leave the world’s strongest countries crippled if put into motion, unable to see or defend against incoming attacks. A reset button will be pushed on existing global power structures.

Fans of the Pendleton Series will be unable to put down this newest addition to the franchise. Early in the narrative, tension rises between Jake and his trusted partner, his girlfriend goes missing after a targeted bombing, and the stress of constantly battling enemies of the state is taking a toll. Jake hints at retirement if he can manage to finish the current mission alive.

Barrett does not just pander to his long time readers. He shows his chops by quickly fleshing out his cast of characters so that readers new to his hero can easily invest in the journey. Barrett is masterful at building suspense and developing political intrigue. The writer pens this fantastic plot, which includes top-level hacking and a missing passenger jet, in such a way that readers can’t help but fear such that calamity and conspiracy might easily be the world’s reality in the near future. Readers will surely hope that similar off-the-books, clandestine operatives are on our own president’s speed dial (or perhaps just the speed dial of the head of the CIA).

While Disruption is a page-turner, the story takes readers on a tour of Europe as Pendelton and his partner Francesca follow clues in search of a missing computer wizard that can stall the terrorist’s plans. Without letting up on the throttle, Barrett allows readers to drink in interesting European locals where the bullets and blood continue to litter the landscape.

As his body of work grows, author Chuck Barrett continues to make his case that he belongs at the same table with the masters of the political thriller. Readers can only hope that this is not the end for Jake Pendleton, but if it is, they can be sure Barrett will continue to provide wild, heart-pounding entertainment with new heroes on into the future.

Clay Snellgrove is the author of The Ball Player. He’s a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. A former professional baseball player.  Clay holds an MFA in creative writing from Converse College.