The Terminal List by Jack Carr – Book Review

The Terminal List by Jack Carr – Book Cover

Would you dare not to pick up a book endorsed by Chuck Norris on the cover? Obviously not, especially if Jack Carr’s “The Terminal List” promises to be an excellent action thriller.

A full SEAL unit led by Major Reece is blown up in Afghanistan. If that weren’t bad enough, Reece finds himself entangled with NCIS, who turn out to be a bunch of fools. (Hey, isn’t that what we learned from the TV series!) Reece is then whisked back to the USA, where another pech hits him: his family is slaughtered. There’s a smell of a nose-tickling conspiracy here! Blood is demanded!!!

And then what happens? NOTHING. Although Jack Carr relentlessly drills into Reece and into you that the Major must seek revenge, instead of opting for a more civic approach like filing a police report, still NOTHING happens.

You’re just plunged into a long and monotonous buildup, during which you realize that the main character of “The Terminal List” is sorely lacking in charisma, just a template of a thick-necked, tough, and kind-hearted American patriot (God, country, family!). His wife is GOOD and BEAUTIFUL too! (I admit, from this point on, I myself fondly reminisce about the idyllic family life of Reece and set it as a shining example for us, especially when the fucking Screaming and Yelling starts here at home.)

The evil conspirators turn out to be very evil. Moreover, they’re idiots like hell because they turn SEALs into guinea pigs for their conspiracy, who are known to be the elite commandos of the US Navy. Instead of, say, trying with Mexican immigrants, where it might not even be noticed if a dozen of them blow up.

When the Major finally takes action… Ta-da-dam… the novel remains just as sluggish. There’s no one among the adversaries who could match Reece’s weight class, except maybe Holden, but the author doesn’t even exploit him. Although you would rightfully expect Reece, driven by righteous vengeance, to occasionally whack the bad guys with a club before GENTLY sending them off to a better place, the confrontations in “The Terminal List” lack any tension. Nobody is chasing Reece at all, so he just strolls forward and neatly shoots everyone down one by one.

The author perhaps attempts to offset the naive perspective of his somewhat clumsy and drawn-out work by sporadically interjecting rather simplistic right-wing propaganda into the narrative (Similar to the wise, thoughtful, and far-sighted President Trump, he probably watched Fox News too much as well.) The essence of which: no matter how many filthy scumbags his bad luck throws his way, by some strange coincidence, they always seem to turn out to be filthy Democrats.

The STUPIDEST SENTENCE IN THE BOOK is uttered in the context of the over-idealized, perfect American family, concerning the Major’s declining mother:

„…to put her in a place that would take good care of her, and she had quickly become a staff favorite.”

Ah, of course, she must have won the esteemed title of “Demented of the Month” in a row…

Overall, except for a few more exciting scenes, “The Terminal List” is like a simple „Shopping List”: 2 kilos of potatoes, a liter of cooking oil, four pieces of bratwursts, etc., which Major Reece ticks off happily after putting them in his basket. (But it would be better if good old Chuck didn’t hear about my opinion!)


The Terminal List (Terminal List #1) by Jack Carr
407 pages, Hardcover
Published in 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

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