Review of “Red Metal” by Mark Greaney and Hunter Ripley Rawlings IV

Red Metal

Author: Mark Greaney and Hunter Ripley Rawlings

Publication Date: 2019

Publisher: Berkley, an imprint of Random House LLC

ISBN: 9780451490414

Agent: Not known

Source of Book: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Blurb: A desperate Kremlin takes advantage of a military crisis in Asia to simultaneously strike into Western Europe and invade east Africa in a bid to occupy a Rare Earth mineral mine that will give Russia unprecedented control for generations over the world’s hi-tech sector.

Pitted against the Russians are a Marine lieutenant colonel pulled out of a cushy job at the Pentagon and thrown into the fray in Africa, a French Special Forces captain and his intelligence operative father, a young Polish female partisan fighter, an A-10 Warthog pilot, and the captain of an American tank platoon who, along with a German sergeant, fight from behind enemy lines in Germany all the way into Russia.

From a daring MiG attack on American satellites, through land and air battles in all theaters, naval battles in the Arabian sea, and small unit fighting down to the hand-to-hand level in the jungle, Russia’s forces battle to either take the mines or detonate a nuclear device to prevent the West from exploiting them.

(Source of Blurb: Author’s Website)

Review:  This was a very well done take on a potential U.S. Russia limited war. It is a real gripper. The authors are to be congratulated on creating a scenario (conflict over rare earth minerals) that has entered today’s headlines, is very plausible, and complex enough to be very interesting. The authors examined this conflict from the point of views of army, navy, marines, air force, allies, both professional and paramilitary, and enemy forces and their allies. There are several very strong female characters. I have a feeling a great deal of research supplemented the authors’ extensive personal experience with military operations at both the strategic and tactical levels. It was very readable and held the interest of this non-technical reader. I highly recommend this book.

I awarded Red Metal a rating of 4.0/5.0. This book was by the Mark Greaney who wrote the “Gray Man” series. (Please see my review of “The Gray Man“.) I REALLY like the “Gray Man”, and this was not the “Gray Man”, and was never intended to be the “Gray Man”. Hence my disappointment. Some aspects of the ending were telegraphed a little too obviously for me. Red Metal also ended with a lead-in to the next book at the end. This marketing technique cheapened an excellent, well-written, intellectually challenging, military thriller. These guys don’t need to do this to sell their next book.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Link to Author’s Website:

Purchase Link:

Netflix Alert for “Camp X”


Camp X

I came across a two-part documentary on Netflix called “Camp X” which is about a secret agent training school in Canada started by Churchill and Roosevelt prior to WWII. It is terrific for anyone interested in espionage in general and WWII in particular. It outlines the training that took place there and points to some of the missions, both successful and unsuccessful.

For an aspiring thriller writer, ideas abound here, as well as interesting larger-than-life characters. It is a great place for inspiration, as well as being informative and entertaining.

This is a good one, spotlighting a part of history that, until recently, has been pretty much unknown, at least to me.