Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.
The Last Good Man is a powerful, complex, and very human tale.
What I liked: First off, I served in the Air Force and while I was never in a war zone, the comradery depicted in The Last Good Man is spot on. Your comrades in arms are an extension of your family. Only someone who has experienced military service or a similar situation could understand the closeness of the friendships you develop. Ms Nagata has hit the nail on the head with the interactions between all the characters.
In addition, the technology described in the book, while not all currently available is certainly believable. It was uncanny on how you, as the reader, can probably see all the technology advances that may certainly be a part of future warfare. Frightening in some respects but again, believable.
While the future of warfare is a core part of the story, it is the relationships between the characters that is the shining star. True, through almost an accident finds the death of her son in combat may not be all it was thought to be. I mean, Diego certainly died a horrific death but there are clues and rumors suddenly discovered that make True want, or more precisely need to know more. She doesn’t necessarily want to put her team at risk so decides to investigate on her own. Well, the team wants to help and cover her back and that’s where much of the action comes in. The more True uncovers, the more questions she has.
To be fair, I think any mother or parent for that matter would delve into a situation where they don’t feel they are getting the full story about the death of a child. True is unwilling to let it go no matter the danger she might find herself in.
What I didn’t like: This might be because I’m unfamiliar with Ms Nagata’s style of writing but there were a couple of times, I felt like I was reading in circles. It didn’t detract from the storyline and by the time I was closer to the ending, I understood why it was written the way it was. So, hang in there.
The emotion, the storyline, and the characters all kept me more than entertained. The Last Good Man is not your “normal” military thriller/suspense book. It has a Sci-Fi element to make it just that bit different for other suspense books I’ve read. I will certainly be looking at Ms Nagata’s book backlist!
This review is based on an ARC received from NetGalley.
Highly Recommended, especially for military suspense/thriller readers!