MATADOR, a Barrett Mason Thriller, Volume 1, published, copyright and written by Stewart Matthews.

Barrett is a former Recon Marine now working on clandestine operations for the U. S. under direction of his old commanding officer. The reader meets him as he is attempting to extract a microbiologist defecting from Iran. The defector is killed as the operation is underway and Mason must now save himself but there is another problem. The scientist, without informing anyone, had brought his daughter to be extracted with him. Mason feels responsible for saving this pre-teenage child who provides an additional problem in that she speaks only her native tongue. The story evolves as he eventually is able to get the two back to the states where the plot further develops as the very intelligent child is able to retrieve all of her father’s secretive data, shine light on a viscous world-wide operation to not only take over the U.S., but other nations, as well. This story ends with a degree of closure and entre to Volume 2.

Discussion: More pragmatic readers may need to overlook the question of how Barrett can make as many mistakes and often the inadequate moves as he does and still survive. If this has been his modus operandi through his numerous years in the Marines and subsequent clandestine activity, his survival has been amazing. His escapes in this volume mostly result from the intervention of good Karma and as a parenthetical aside, conversations within a helicopter are difficult, at best and many of the fight scenes here and elsewhere could benefit from editing. However, if one is addicted to thrillers regardless, this tale is replete with interesting characters with whom a reader can empathize as they proceed in a fast-paced plot that provides a base upon which to build the next escapade.

3* Fast-paced tale most thriller addicts can enjoy.