8.4.13

HAWKE, by Ted Bell

1/series. Seven year-old Alex Hawke, hidden in the bow locker of his parents' yacht, sees them murdered by a trio of psychotic modern-day pirates. Days later the drifting boat is discovered and the near-catatonic child is rescued. Switch to his adult years when handomse (natch) Alex is a billionaire businessman (natch; you know how it is these days: start with millions and the rest is easy) with a special agreement with British and American secret services to undertake sensitive missions. And what could be more sensitive than a Russian Stealth-type super-sub armed with nuclear warheads? A first-class male fantasy novel with really evil bad guys. Plus a new-age sensitive guy secret at the core, way more human than Stuart Woods' pneumatic Stone Barrington. Makes a great diversion from your usual Mary Balogh or Jilly Cooper beach read. A 3; guys'll probably give it a 5+.