Operation Caliph, Hunt for the Terrorists is a suspenseful action novel. Told from the points of view of both the hunters and the hunted it follows the journey of OMICRON as they try to capture the elusive terrorist Ibrahim Haddad. The novel is set in the modern day, in numerous countries across the globe. While many of the descriptions are of hotel rooms and offices, the engaging dialogue between characters is consistently propelling this action oriented book forward.
Two of the characters Ibrahim and Inga are well developed as the criminals, and the prey of the story. Terrorists Ibrahim Haddad and Inga Doudin are described in great depth and some of the more compelling antagonists I’ve read this year. Ibrahim travels around the world laundering his money by transferring his money from one fund to another. Inga, on the other hand remains behind in lavish hotels, shopping and taking diving lessons. I would have liked to have seen them challenge gender stereotypes in interesting ways, to make them more endearing, however they did add a high level of intrigue to the story. Like any good thriller, there are formidable heroes. These come in the form of Omicron members. The numerous characters can make it difficult to follow the story at times, but the Cast of Characters provided in the book is certainly helpful.
Operation Caliph, Hunt for the Terrorists is well structured and flows easily. The cast of characters at the beginning of the book is helpful to understand and keep track of the numerous characters in the novel. The glossary is equally helpful in defining terms that might be unknown to the reader. The prologue is also helpful to set the scene for the novel whilst the epilogue ties everything together. Operation Caliph, Hunt for the Terrorists has a story line that is built to bring action and suspense to every chapter. There is the obligatory good vs bad dynamic but the action is quick and punchy and the climax of the story is phenomenal.
Operation Caliph, Hunt for the Terrorists is a fast-paced thriller with an interesting array of characters and stimulating settings. If you like a book with lots of moving parts and an array of characters all going in different directions then this is definitely a novel you’ll love.
To read review on Literary Titan's website click book cover.
The third book in G.J. Rayner & E.M. Rayner’s 9/11-era-themed series opens during a July 4th celebration in 2002, where a terror attack claims at least 25 lives and wounds over 100. Ibrahim Haddad, and his lover, Inga Doudin, who were responsible for the assault. OMICRON, a Christian security contractor and intelligence organization specializing in black ops, is tasked with finding suspects Isbrahim Haddad and his lover, Inga Dougin.
But that won’t be easy. By July 8th, both terrorists were in Cancun, having undergone reconstructive surgery. What’s more, they’ve got plenty of money and a plan that takes them through Cuba to St Martin and other excotic locales. And this is exactly where the story transforms from a solid terrorism thriller to a bonafide page turner.
Ibrahim doesn’t quite fit the mold of the stereotypical 9/11-era jihadist. He orders Johnny Walker Gold on the rocks, high-end champagne and prefers five-star resorts over under-the-radar safe houses. Their plan goes awry as Ibrahim discovers that his financial safety net is in serious peril. A series of cyber attacks has devastated Al Qaeda's bank accounts and those of all its top leaders. What’s more, a connected company’s stock has collapsed. Haddad asks a shady attorney named Peter Van Hansza to funnel money from a separate account. Just days later, Peter informs him that he has told “the infidels” about their business together before his next action, which will both shock and surprise readers.
While OMICRON’s global manhunt is well-crafted and gets plenty of attention, chapters told from the terrorists’ point of view are what distinguishes Operation Caliph from other post-9/11 thrillers. Following along with Haddad as they flee through the caribbean, Mali, Tunisia and elsewhere with OMICRON hot on their trail is nothing short of riveting. While the Raynors don't go as far as to make Haddad sympathetic, their insights do render him multi-dimensional.
While the Rayners’ growing body of work is all recommended, Operation Caliph works well as a stand alone novel.
Check out this podcast interview from 2017. Orlando Montoya of Savannah interviewed Gordon & Ella Mae about PTSD and the writing process.
Operation Sandstorm by G.J Rayner & E.M Rayner is an action packed adventure that will have you hooked from the moment you start reading. The story follows Cyrus CEO and president of one of the largest tech companies in the world, Livingston Tec. An attack takes place on Livingston’s mines in Morocco and a large number of Golden bricks have been stolen. A private security company Omicron has been tasked with retrieving the stolen gold. Livingston learns that Vladimir Shishani is the one that initiated the attack on his mines. Livingston also learns that Shishani is involved with terrorist groups. Will Livingston get his revenge and put a stop to Shishani?
G.J. and E.M. has done a fantastic job with creating compelling and authentic characters through meticulous development throughout the novel. Each character was unique in their own way and I was able to empathize with each one. Tension begins to rise as you get further into the book as characters become more suspicious and hesitant when they start to feel something is off. I was equally suspicious and tense as the deep character development really gets you invested in events. Revenge, betrayal, action, suspense, this book has it all. It was interesting to get a closer look at two different men, one genuine and the other malicious. Both men have access to unlimited amounts of money but they have two very different agendas.
While I enjoyed this novel overall, a few chapters felt slower than others, bogged down with exposition and details. But this did not deter me from continuing to read, I just wanted it to be summed up quicker to get back to the action. I highly recommend this absorbing action novel to anyone who is looking for an exciting read.
Pages: 283 | ASIN: B08DDHKTDC
The Rayners love the peaceful life afforded by our CAL community, but (trust me), things have not always been this quiet. A myriad of tales could be told about Ella Mae’s nursing career alone, but when you add in Gordon’s adventures with the Marine Corps, in the Border Patrol and then as a Federal Narcotics Agent in the U.S. and multiple Latin American countries, their combined history has made for quite the ride. Some days it rivaled scenes from 007!
Gordon and Ella Mae became high school sweethearts after their first date at a J.C. sponsored dance. Now celebrating their 65-year anniversary, they’ve become a testament to marriage and family. When asked what kept things together through all those years of raising three kids, multiple household moves and ever-present dangers, Gordon quickly replied, “We both put 105% into it.”
One can only imagine the post-traumatic-stress fallout from the life of a DEA Agent— some of it springing from dangerous work situations and some from profound disappointments in people and institutions. Trauma has many sources.
It was after Gordon retired from active duty, settled into the neighborhood and played golf for six years that the depression from those memories started to take their toll. Suffering from the after-effects of PTSD may have very well been more difficult than leaping over chain link fences, being dropped from a helicopter into marijuana-laden shrimp boats, and shooting at bad guys. There’s a lot to be said for adrenalin!
Ella Mae became very worried about him and ultimately encouraged him to write it all down—at least get it out of his head and onto paper. Taking what she knew from writing for a local newspaper, she enrolled in a writer’s group to help start an ambitious record of their years in Paraguay. The chapters in Foreign Service Family Style alternate between Gordon’s daily work regimen and Ella Mae’s adventures on the home front, with descriptive detail about the sights and sounds of Asunción, Paraguay’s capital.
Were the children ever afraid? Perhaps, but they turned out to be as tough as their parents, learned how to shoot a gun at an early age and collectively accepted the family’s perpetually interesting lifestyle. Ella Mae chuckles as she remembers being considered “one of the guys," playing many roles to fool the drug criminals they were trying to entrap--like pretending to be Gordon’s snazzy sister-in-law when the “red” phone rang.
“Asunción itself was not particularly dangerous or violent,” says Gordon, “just the usual burglaries and bar fights and such. Even the drug traffic there was nothing like it has become now with the cartels in Colombia.” Still, it was a tense, touchy business driven by his gut instincts and taking place at all hours of day or night. When Ella Mae was asked when her husband was coming home, the answer could be any in a category of threes: 3 pm, 3 am, 3 hours, 3 days or 3 weeks. This unpredictability of his ETA led to the humorous admission that he had to buy a lot of new underwear on the road!
After the initial publishing of their memoirs, Gordon and Ella Mae went on to publish three more books—with a fourth one nearly finished. They’re all thriller novels with plots conjured up from what he already knew and what he conceived in his very active imagination. His reading audience? Well, mainly himself, he admits, although anyone with a penchant for thrillers and authors like Web Griffin and Tom Clancy might enjoy them.
Taurus, Taurus, Taurus follows protagonist Joe Garner, an intelligence analyst, as he tracks down a US Beef Company’s Genetic Modification scientist, who went off the rails when the government interfered with his research. After the scientist was presumed dead in an explosion of his own making, he shows up 11 years later, demanding ransom and threatening to destroy the world- wide beef breeding operation.
Operation Pinata is about a wealthy Mexican businesswoman who is murdered by the Acapulco Cartel. Her husband, a Deputy Attorney General, wants revenge for her death. Frustrated with the corruption in the Mexican government, he hires a private security company that does work for US government agencies and private citizens. They launch a two-pronged attack against the cartels—one, to eliminate those directly responsible for his wife’s death, and two, to initiate a money laundering scheme that drains the cartels of their drug trafficking profits.
Operation Sandstorm is a battle between an Eastern and a Western business tycoon for world dominance and rises like a sandstorm out of the African desert. It spreads into both hemispheres, drastically impacting their lives. The story involves stolen gold, found gold, and surprising connections to Al Qaeda terrorists in Africa.
Many thanks to Gordon and Ella Mae for sharing this personal account... and also for faithfully organizing Perkins’ breakfasts and measuring rain
Book Two of the OMICRON Series garners fours stars from Literary Titan
Reader Views reflects on Joe Garner's first adventure with OMICRON
Review by the Hungry Monster:sterilization serum is being inserted into genetically modified super bulls, threatening to hurt the profits of the beef industry.Semi-retired, former Special Forces bad-ass Joe Garner is hired by a private security firm to track down the culprits, a cell of Islamic terrorists, and tot ake them out by whatever means necessary. Joe and his crew of ex-militarytough guys track down the scientist who created the serum, all the while getting in plenty of gunfights with Jihadists. In the end, they team up with aRussian General, with whom Joe has a history, and together, they take down theImam, and restore the scientist to the cattle industry.
The 2016 Presidential election has made it very clear that there are two United States of America existing simultaneously: the coastal,liberal thinking, urban populous, and its white male dominated conservative counterpart. Taurus, Taurus, Taurus, a novel by Gordon Rayner, will appeal to the latter. It is chock full of espionage tech, a litany of government organizations bumbling through red tape towards a collective goal,descriptions of guns, and derogatory terms for people of Middle Eastern descent. America, fuck yeah!
Most of the book follows the protagonist, Joe Garner, a former special ops tough guy extraordinaire with too much integrity to toe the company line, who goes to work for a private black ops security company. (BruceWillis could play him in the film). Joe's got a bad leg, drinks a lot, and makes frequent mention of other men's cowboy boots. Joe's wife is also some kind of operative who goes on "spooky wooky missions," though her character is for the most part left unexplored. In one of the least plot related, andkinkiest scenes in the book, Joe and his wife go to Jamaica, get "ganja" from the "tall black porter," and then they end up back in the hotel room with his wife dabbing cannabis syrup on her nipples?! The sexy talk doesn't stop there.There is a physical therapist who reads porno mags at his desk, and at some point the operatives are implanted with scrotum tracking chips.
Not surprisingly, this book is about sperm. In a meeting with a client, Joe discovers that a big beef conglomerate based in Houston is the top provider for cattle worldwide, and has developed a "dream sperm machine." But, the plant where the super sperm was being developed has been blown sky high. Years later, a mysterious ransom note appears from the dream sperm's creator, Dr. Gambil, who turns out is in cahoots with terrorists fromKyrgyzstan, setting the plot in motion.
Joe and his highly paid team of former special ops trainedkiller-cowboys travel around the globe chasing down the doctor and theJihadists. From New Jersey to Argentina to Kyrgyzstan, Joe and his guys are always one step ahead of the Islamic Brigade, whose attempts to sterilize the super bulls continue to be halted by American bullets. They win every battle in overwhelming fashion.
In one section, Joe and his guys realize that since they area private organization, the Geneva Convention can be disregarded. They discuss the best ways to torture an Islamic militant, including making him watch a pig get slaughtered and then covering him in its entrails, and having a naked woman attack him.
This book is for meat eating, red-blooded, cowboy boot wearing country boys. Fans of John Le Carre and Robert Ludlum will enjoy the way these all American heroes kick tons of ass.
Members of the Low County Sisters in Crime Chapter enjoyed a busy autumn. We opened our fall meeting schedule with an informative visit from former DEA agent Gordon Rayner who—with his wife Ella Mae Rayner—co-authored Foreign Service Family Style. Gordon gave a hands-on presentation, “Firearms 101,” explaining terms, structure, and usage of firearms and including some personal anecdotes.
Several members attended Bouchercon 2015, Murder Under the Oaks, in Raleigh NC including the four high school students whose book club our chapter sponsors. Three of them served on the panel, “The Importance of YA Book Clubs,” along with SinC member and author Bonnie K. Stevens, whose first YA mystery, Fighting Chance, debuted in October. 2
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