BOOK REVIEW: ‘Foreign and Domestic’: Jake Mahegan: A.J. Tata’s Answer to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher

Reviewed by David M. Kinchen

Jake Mahegan: Meet Jack Reacher. I hope the two fictional characters like each other because I wouldn’t want to be there if they don’t. The destruction resulting from the clash of the 6-4, 230 pound Mahegan and the 6-5, 250-pound Reacher would be truly epic.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Foreign and Domestic': Jake Mahegan: A.J. Tata's Answer to Lee Child's Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher, of course,  is the iconic creation of best-selling author Lee Child. (For an excellent look at how this former military policeman became a drifter, check out my 2011 review of Child’s “The Affair”: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/10275).

Chayton “Jake” Mahegan in A.J. Tata’s “Foreign and Domestic” (Pinnacle mass market paperback, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.,  368 pages, $9.99) is a drifter on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he was born in the hamlet of Frisco, NC. A year ago, the half Native American (on his father’s side) was a U.S. Army captain who  led a Delta Force team into Afghanistan to capture an American traitor working for the Taliban.

The mission ended in tragedy, with Jake’s best friend, Sgt. Wesley Colgate, dying. The team was infiltrated and decimated by a bomb. An enemy prisoner was killed, leading to Mahegan being dismissed from the army.

He has one high-ranking friend, Maj. Gen. Bob Savage, but the powerful and respected Lt. Gen. Stanley Bream, the army’s inspector general, is his mortal enemy, determined to secure a dishonorable discharge for Mahegan. He outranks Savage — who favors an honorable discharge — by one crucial star.

Haunted by the incident, Mahegan is determined to clear his name. The military wants him to stand down. When the American Taliban — born Adam Wilhoyt in Davenport, Iowa, now known to all who watch his beheading videos on the Internet as Mullah Adnam —  returns to domestic soil,  Jake Mahegan is the only man who knows how to stop him.

When Mahegan, on one of his daily swims, discovers a body, he’s no longer under the radar. He’s a person of interest to the Dare County sheriff and the army, not to mention a host of three-letter agencies: CIA, FBI, DHS, etc.

Naturally, there’s a beautiful woman, mysterious Elizabeth “Lindy” Locklear, the niece of the sheriff. She’s a love interest, but can Jake trust the woman who has been deputized by her uncle. Her uncle soon realizes that Jake is one of the good guys, but where do Lindy’s loyalties lie?

“Foreign and Domestic” — the title comes from the Military Oath of Enlistment: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” is a page-turner written by a retired army officer who knows what he’s writing about.

A.J. Tata

A.J. Tata

About the author

Brig. Gen. Anthony J. “Tony” Tata, U.S. Army (Retired), commanded combat units in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 10th Mountain Division. His last combat tour was in Afghanistan in 2007 where he earned the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star Medal. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, “Sudden Threat”, “Rogue Threat”, and “Hidden Threat”. Tata has been a frequent foreign policy guest commentator on Fox News, CBS News, and The Daily Buzz. NBC’s Today Show featured General Tata’s career transition from the army to education leadership where he has served as the Chief Operations Officer of Washington, DC Public Schools for firebrand Chancellor Michelle Rhee and as the Superintendent of the 16th largest school district in the nation in Wake County/Raleigh, NC.

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