By Patrick Lee
In Stores Now
I was first made aware of Patrick Lee’s books last winter when I was walking through the book aisle of our local WalMart. There on the rack, calling out to me, was Lee’s second book, “Ghost Country.” Its eerie, haunting cover image of the Statue of Liberty immediately caught my attention and made me pick up the book. The back cover summary of the book sounded a lot like one of my favorite TV shows, “Fringe,” and instantly I knew I had to read the book.
Once I got back home, I did some research online, as I love to do, and discovered that “Ghost Country” was actually the second book in a series. Somehow, the first book had slipped under my radar when it was released, but I wouldn’t let that mistake happen again. So I put the Patrick Lee books on my “To Read” List, which is always a mile long. But at long last, I have finally gotten to read the first book in the series, “The Breach,” and it was well worth the wait.
At the start of “The Breach,” ex-con and ex-cop Travis Chase is enjoying a trip through the Alaskan wilderness, trying to put his life back together, when he stumbles on the wreckage of a downed 747. Within the fuselage of the crashed plane, Chase discovers the dead body of the First Lady of the United States and several other people. A mysterious letter left by the President’s wife starts Travis down a path that will lead him directly to the doorstep of the greatest discovery in human history. The note says that hostiles have taken two hostages and are torturing them a short distance from the crash site. Surprisingly, the note also says that whoever finds the note should kill the hostiles AND the hostages and then call a number for help. Travis uses his police skills to track down the hostages, but can’t bring himself to follow the second part of the order, rescuing one of the hostages, Paige Campbell, but failing to rescue her father, Peter. After saving Paige and getting her safely back to civilization, Travis is pulled into a three-decade-old war to control powerful devices that only a small group of people even know exist. One group, known as Tangent, is an international group tasked with gathering and safeguarding the devices which come through a mysterious doorway, known as The Breach. A former Tangent agent was driven mad by one of the devices and behind the attack on the downed plane. It is up to Travis and the rest of Tangent to prevent this former agent from carrying out his plan, which may result in the Apocalypse.
Lee deftly combines “X-Files”-type science and break-neck action, resulting in a story that quickly had me hooked. It took me a few pages to get into Lee’s style of writing, but from that point on, his pace and plot kept me turning the pages, waiting for each new reveal or discovery. I loved Lee’s imagination and his descriptions of the devices and what they could do. The twist at the end surprised me and it worked. Sometimes a twist will seem forced and rings untrue, but this one seemed natural and fit with the rest of the story.
I loved “The Breach” and can’t wait to get to “Ghost Country.” If you love thrillers with touches of sci-fi, be sure to read “The Breach.”
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “The Breach” a 4.