"Hawke is a fast-paced adventure...truly an exciting read," says Nelson DeMille. "Rich, spellbinding, and absorbing, Hawke is packed with surprises," raves Clive Cussler. Readers beware, this stunning, high-caliber thriller is not recommended for the faint of heart.
Lord Alexander Hawke is a direct descendant of the legendary English pirate Blackhawke and highly skilled in the cutthroat's deadly ways himself. While still a boy, on a voyage to the Caribbean, Alex Hawke witnesses an act of unspeakable horror. Hidden in a secret compartment on his father's yacht, Alex sees his parents brutally murdered by three modern-day pirates. It is an event that will haunt him for the remainder of his life. Now, fully grown and one of England's most decorated naval heroes, Hawke is back in the same Caribbean waters on a secret mission for the American government. A highly experimental stealth submarine, built by the Soviets just before the end of the Cold War, is missing. She carries forty nuclear warheads and is believed to be in the hands of a very unstable government just ninety miles from the American mainland. Hawke is in a race against time. His mission: Find the deadly sub before a preemptive strike can be launched against the U.S., and confront the murderous men behind the personal nightmare that haunts him before they find him first.
Featuring breathtaking action, international intrigue, and a hero worthy of the very finest adventure fiction, Hawke heralds the exciting debut of a bold new talent.
Bell's action-adventure novel actively courts comparisons to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, even touching down on Thunderball Atoll in the Bahamas, in a nod to Fleming's 1961 Thunderball. Bell's hero is Alex Hawke, a jet-set business mogul who does "highly secret freelance work for the governments of the United States and Britain." Thirty years before the story begins, seven-year-old Alex Hawke watches from a hiding place as his mother and father are slaughtered by three modern-day pirates. The adult Hawke, descendant of the famous English pirate, Blackhawke, owns the finest of the world's goods, makes love to the most beautiful women and defeats the world's most heinous villains. He is, in short, a cartoon. When his friend and ex-lover, Consuelo de los Reyes, the beautiful and foul-mouthed secretary of state, asks him to save America with a difficult and exceedingly dangerous piece of derring-do, he leaps at the chance. The assignment involves a cabal of Cubans who have deposed Castro, bought themselves a secret submarine from the Russians and are preparing to launch 40 nuclear missiles at the United States. Hawke assembles an arsenal of cool weapons and exotic machinery, calls in a squad of deadly ex-SEAL anti-terrorist pals and saves the world. Along the way, he avenges his parents' brutal murder. Bell's first effort, Nick of Time, was a well-received pirate book for boys. This novel is a pirate book for adult boys. It's a fast, fun read, but the elaborately constructed homage to the master Fleming and the inimitable Bond tips over into unintentional parody more often than it should.