Author: J.T. Rogers
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 236 Pages
Category: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Are you a Captain America and Bucky Barnes fan? Then you are going to love this.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: Robert Flynn abandoned a sterling military career when his best friend and fellow soldier, Wesley Pike, died under his command. More than a decade later, Flynn’s quiet life is disturbed by the troubles of a fledgling CIA and Alexander Grant, a flashy agent with a lot to prove. As the space race between the United States and the Soviets heats up and the body count rises, the two men fight to find common ground. Grant knows Flynn believes in the cause, but all Flynn sees is the opportunity to fail someone like he failed Wes. An attack by a Soviet agent spurs Flynn to action and a reluctant association with the agency, and tilts Flynn’s world on its axis with a shocking discovery: Wesley Pike may be alive and operating as a Soviet assassin.
With Grant to bankroll the operation, his superiors looking the other way, and Flynn’s hard-earned peace officially forfeit, Flynn reunites his old team with the singular goal of finding Wes. But they get more than they bargained for—Wes is amnesiac and dangerous, brainwashed into becoming the perfect weapon. Flynn struggles to reach his friend, lead his team, and navigate his charged relationship with Grant—something neither of them expected and aren’t sure how to parse—while coming to grips with his long-buried feelings for Wes.
Review: I’m a sucker for a good ol’ noir, and this book delivered the tasty non-stop action I’ve become fond of, plus it had a compelling romantic storyline, very similar to Stucky (Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes’ romantic pairing) fan fiction. It makes me wonder if Rogers is a pen name and she chose it intentionally for that reason, because if not, it’s a hell of a coincidence.
Robert Flynn and Wes Pike were a part of an American/Canadian task force during the war, and Flynn loses Pike while he was under his command, or so he thinks. Decades later Flynn’s working in a bakery, and he gets approached by Alex Grant (these names are right out of a Robert Ludlum novel–love it!), who wants Flynn to put together his old team to find a Soviet operative who is trying to sabotage the US’s efforts to get into space. That agent ends up being Pike, alive, brainwashed, and extremely dangerous.
Besides the fun dynamic happening with Pike, Grant, and Flynn, the married doctors were a hoot, and I especially loved the Québécois, Frank, who was foul-mouthed (but all in French), obscured by a constant cloud of tobacco, and pickled by booze. He was definitely my favorite.
The noir pieces of this work were perfect in the little details of the world. The guns. The cars. The Cold War. I really did feel as if I were reading one of my cherished Robert Ludlum novels, but with a desperately needed gay twist. I wish I had had books like this when I was growing up.
The story had a delightful mix of great characters and a good-paced plot, but even though our protagonist risked life and limb on nearly every page, I experienced the most tension during the quieter moments between Flynn and Grant, and eventually Flynn and Pike. It seemed to me that with battle-hardened soldiers such as themselves, their relationships to each other were really all they had left to lose. They were family. I’m honestly a bit hazy–after reading–how Rogers actually wrapped up the main plot of the novel, but I can tell you exactly how the romantic plotline ended (I won’t), and it was deeply satisfying. Again, if you are familiar with Stucky, you are going to love this and it will certainly scratch an itch.
A page-turner with non-stop action and a dizzying love story, In from the Cold deserves five thrilling stars.
You can buy In from the Cold here: