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Monday, July 10, 2017

OVERLOAD #01 - PERSONAL WAR

Big trucks…big men…riding for justice!

Here we go, the truck driving vigilante series known as Overload. According to my research author Bob Ham wrote 12 of these books total. The series shifts into drive with the first novel, “Personal War”, released in 1989 courtesy of Bantam Books (gotta love the red rooster logo). The book introduces us to the “Overload” duo of Marc Lee and Carl Browne. Both of these guys are Delta Force members, weighing in with a strong sense of male heroism courtesy of Ham’s overindulgence on survival instincts, martial arts skills and knowledge of all weaponry. I get it, Ham has to make these two guys the cream of the crop (and by book two even the White House is calling them this) but it seems a little like hyperbole with so many references to their military expertise. But, it’s Paperback Warrior for a reason and these two are getting the passing grade.

In the opening segment, we see some Mafia goons appear at a freight office to rough up a truck owner. We get a cool description of a sword carrying baddie that, unfortunately, never really gets utilized in the book. But damn if it ain’t cool. From there the goons advance and kill off a Leeco Freight truck driver who was just minding his own business listening to Reba tapes. He gone. Next, the big carrot gets dangled – the goons threaten Marc Lee’s Daddy, the owner of Leeco Freight. They tell him he’s gonna get the same treatment as all the others if he doesn’t sign over Leeco to them. He refuses and they tell him they’ll return a little later to re-negotiate with hot, smokin’ lead.

While all this is shaking, Marc Lee is on leave from Delta Force for a week and invites his colleague Carl Browne to enjoy some of mama’s chili down in Texas. The two arrive at home, find out about the goon racket and attempt to stop the baddies at midnight. It doesn’t go as planned, Daddy gets hurt the duo are seeking revenge - trucker style!

Ham maximizes his 159 pages and brings to life truck driving shootouts, some wild torture (Browne shoves a gun barrel up a bare ass and pulls the trigger!) and a really cool forest chase in the snow. Escapes, gunfire, 18 wheels of justice…Ham pulls it off and makes this a really good action-heavy book with very little downside. If only he could have kept up the pace into book two…but more on that to come.