US Review of Books

Albatross: Birds of Flight

"Burns spoke calmly as he watched the streaks of missiles heading right towards him."
Disputes within the workforce are usually handled in a civil manner, and unless you are counterterrorist special agent Alexander Burns. Someone in his agency wants him "out of the picture" when he goes back on a decision involving how to capture Islamic terrorists, setting him at odds with both his superior and coworkers. Lucky for Burns, he ends up alive even though he's badly scarred both physically and mentally. He can't remember who he is and suffers from PSTD. He's willing to do anything, however, to regain both his memory and seek justice for past inequities done to him, even if it means recruiting a civilian team from different walks of life—his girlfriend who is a smart and sassy nurse at the VA, her sister (a young mom), and his psychiatrist. Erickson does not skimp on the action in his debut novel. It reads with all the pace and excitement of a military movie thriller, delivering strategic and political intrigue that runs in the veins of Tom Clancy and the Bourne Identity. While the writing is slightly choppy, the author excels in developing the characters of the story. It's not just a story about Burns seeking out vengeance for the injustices done to him. It's also about his relationship with his crew, particularly with the woman that he loves, and learning to rebuild his life from the rubble. Albatross is a compelling read that will leave you wondering where time has gone. This book is recommended for readers who enjoy complex characters, romance and psychological thriller layered between dramatic plot twists and revelations. - Maria A. Hughes