Prior to reading Task Force Intrepid (Gold of Katanga), I knew little to nothing about this part of the world. Its politics, history, and economy were a mystery. This book was every bit as educational as it was entertaining...And it scores high in both regards.
The descriptions of the terrain and environment were so vivid, I was taken there from the first scene (which is completely riveting). As I read the opening scene, it reminded me of the opening sequence of Casino Royal hopped up on horse steroids and two pots of coffee.
Speaking of Bond, men's adventure fiction has been in serious need for revival for many years. I mean, how many times can you read the same old Mack Bolan books? The old stuff comes off as cheesy and clichéd to today's sophisticated audience. I remember reading one of Cussler's Dirk Pitt (cheesiest of cheesy names - pure Velveeta) novels a few years back and rolling my eyes at stuff like how snazzy Dirk looked in his turtle neck leisure suit or him smacking a secretary on the bottom and her giggling like a school girl (barf).
There's none of that tripe in this book. Dan Tharp is just what the doctor ordered. His writing is crisp, visual, action-packed, plausible, and intelligent--a breath of fresh air. Tharp and others like him are about to reinvent and reinvigorate this genre. If you want in on the ground floor, read Task Force Intrepid. I look forward to reading more from this talented author.
Five gold bars for this title.