Vacation Gone South
This is an ironic title to me. The intent was a review of the novella written by a friend of mine with the title, Vacation Gone South. The sentiment is happening to my family as I write this – my wife and children are on a mini-vacation helping to bring my in-laws back from Florida and allergies, strep throat, a smashed finger, pinkeye (in both eyes) and exhausted children have made it a trying time for them.
But that’s not why we’re here. This is about Will Brink‘s book, Vacation Gone South. The book is about a former elite Special Operator trying to enjoy a vacation with a work buddy in Panama when things go suddenly and wildly wrong. Bullets fly, people are getting hurt, and mixed throughout is the perfect dose of humor and educational introspection.
I’m going to be the first one to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Oh sure, I know Will has a history of training and working with all sorts of military and paramilitary organizations in his role as an exercise and nutritional guru (in fact, that’s how I met him), but I wasn’t sure how writing fiction was going to work out for him. To my delight, he delivered a solid hook with the first sentence and the story just kept on swinging until the bell was wrung.
To me the go-to writers for espionage and action and intrigue are people like Robert Ludlum. Mix in some Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler for good measure and there are some quality stories to be read. Vacation Gone South keeps the entertainment value on par with those guys and adds in some tradecraft and basic “howto” style tips along the way in an internal running dialogue. It made for a light, fast paced, and very fun read that I had a hard time putting down.
My recommendation? Try it out! You won’t be disappointed. Sure, I may count the man a friend and that might make me biased, but you wouldn’t believe the number of stories I am asked to read that I just can’t make it past the first few paragraphs on. Vacation Gone South delivered the entire way through. In fact, I think I only found one typographical error throughout, which proves that he really took this seriously and got a quality copyeditor.
I’m looking forward to more in this series – there are unanswered questions just begging a sequel… or many!