Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Great Read: ALPHA, a thriller by Greg Rucka

I just finished Greg Rucka's new thriller ALPHA, and it's a great read.  I enjoyed Rucka's Atticus Kodiak series, but this book - featuring Special Forces operative Jad Bell - is even better.

My only complaint is the dust jacket copy, which describes Jad Bell as a "Delta Forces operative" - something which is never stated in the book itself.  Such copy isn't written by the author, so it may or may not be accurate.  Rucka leaves it a mystery as to which military force his hero belongs, only mentioning that its boss, Colonel Ruiz, answers directly to the President of the United States (which might be a bluff).

The battleground between terrorists and Jad Bell's team is a fictional amusement park.  Again, the dust jacket describes it as "the world's largest theme park" - something not mentioned in the book.

But these are minor quibbles that shouldn't impact your enjoyment of the book.

The most interesting (and extensive) interview Rucka gave for this book release was a two-part conversation with Brian Michael Bendis.  Both Rucka and Bendis have also written for comic books.  It's tough to make a living as a mid-list writer, even in popular genres like thrillers.  Moonlighting as a comic book author is one way to earn a decent income.  (Believe me, I'd jump at the chance to write for comics!)

I know one successful novelist/comic book writer who claims that it never takes him more than three days a month to write a 22 page comic book - and that includes scripting the dialogue once the artwork comes back!  That leaves him plenty of time to work on his novels.

The Greg Rucka interview is on the publisher's website, Mulholland Books (an imprint of Little, Brown and Company).  This link will take you to part one of the interview; there is a link to part two at the end of part one.  Enjoy!


  1. I really liked the Atticus Kodiak series, too. I'm a little weary of books with a "world on the brink of disaster" theme.


  2. Yes, it stretches credulity to have the world in danger every installment. The perils of Atticus Kodiak were more down-to-Earth. In ALPHA, only parts of Southern California are endangered, although I suppose if SoCal is affected, the economy of the entire USA would get worse....