Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
Today we are reviewing “Punching Tickets” which is the fifth book in The Mad Mick Series by Franklin Horton.
This book picks up right where the last one left off, which, frankly, lulls you into a false sense of security.
Punching Tickets begins with the group knowing there will be another mission, and Ricardo is expected to join them at the compound to go over the details of the mission.
The group that will be going is Conor, of course, along with Barb, and Doc. Shani is still injured from the last mission, and part of Conor’s payment is (SPOILRS) to meet the daughter he has with Shani.
From the very beginning we also know that there will NOT be peace at the compound while the group is away, with a new bad guy introduced to the mix, Wombat.
Wombat roaming the mountain area gave me no small amount of anxiety, but I was sure all was fine…
Until the mission Conor, Barb and Doc were on went sideways. Then I very much stopped being calm.
It is HARD to not spoil anything but when a double agent betrayed the group, fatalities occurred, and through a series of events, Barb and Conor had to do their plan, boarding a cruise liner full of corrupt American politicians who had known about and in some ways helped orchestrate the terrorist attacks that crippled the country, and who were also trying to destroy what is left of the country, on a mission to kill said traitors.
With the mission very much likely compromised, and with no exit strategy, no backup, and very little else to go on, the two begin the mission, and actually manage to do quite well, until of course word gets back to the ship.
Chaos is putting it lightly, and the tone on the mission is going poorly, with emergency favors being called in to and from Shani, Barb and Conor barely escape, landing themselves in very foreign territory.
Back at home, Shannon makes a series of terrible choices with Ragus willingly encouraging it, and the two lose control of the compound, and nearly die. These two make so many choices that are terrible that despite the terrible news Shannon later receives, and despite how much I love the character of Ragus, I was seriously annoyed and even angry at these characters. Thankfully, Wayne comes along to help, getting closure on the 6 innocent lives he lost at the start of the book, at Wombat’s hand, that led to his whole group packing up and leaving the security of the mountain.
Conor and Barb get to meet Conor’s long-lost child, a child he conceived with Shani, who he did not know about until the last book, and continue to try and finish their mission, which, predictably, goes sideways, once again. In the ensuing moments, while one of the main people who helped organize the attacks is dead, the entire collation of people trying to prevent the corrupt government officials from taking over the government is overrun, and they are systematically executed.
This includes Ricardo’s helicopter being shot out of the sky, and he is presumed dead.
Barb and Conor manage to get back to the states, only to find that Conor now has a new boss, someone from his past who hates him. He is told he will fall in line and do the jobs he is given, or his entire compound will be blasted from the face of the mountain.
And that is how the story leaves off, building so much anticipation for the next book, which, spoilers, I read it, and it is AWESOME.
Please check out The Mad Mick Series, it is sooo worth the read!