Total Immunity by Robert Ward

Total Immunity by Robert Ward

Smart, tough Los Angeles FBI agents Jack Harper and Oscar Hidalgo breathe sighs of relief after violent diamond smuggler Karl Steinbach is finally arrested in a complex sting. Vowing vengeance on the agents who brought him down, Steinbach is imprisoned – only to be offered a release with total immunity in a dodgy deal with Homeland Security. As Jack and Oscar’s team of agents start to die, it becomes clear that Steinbach’s is no idle threat. But when the pair investigate their slain comrade’s lives, they discover that what looked like retribution is actually tied to a web of deceit that stretches to the highest echelons of the FBI.

Navigating car chases, shootouts, and even venomous reptiles, Jack and Oscar furiously pursue clues scattered throughout the underbelly of Los Angeles, in a desperate attempt to find the killer – before he finds them. With a storyline crackling with action, a dazzling cast of thugs, traitors, killers and creeps, and a cinematic portrait of a seamy Los Angeles clogged with corruption and greed, Robert Ward’s turbulent new thriller is clever, contemporary and cool as ice.

I’ve always enjoyed FBI, Homeland Security, based thrillers and although they don’t turn up as often as I would like – the last one being Cold Vengeance by Preston & Child in September – I was rather excited to start Total Immunity by Robert Ward. Ward, perhaps best known for his work as a producer and writer for Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice, has written a number of books but Total Immunity marks the first in a series concentrating on main protagonists Agents Jack Harper and Oscar Hidalgo.

A fast paced narrative I found Total Immunity a very quick and entertaining read, nothing too taxing and not overly complex, the storyline is well delivered and thoroughly enjoyable. It slowly builds into a veritable page turner and once you reach the half-way point in the book you’ll find it difficult to put the book down, I certainly did. Often humorous at times the narrative is clichéd in parts but it never becomes tiresome and the dialogue is inventive holding your interest throughout. The exchanges between Oscar and Jack are worth the admission fee alone!

Total Immunity is available in hardback & Kindle (best price) formats

Characterisation is well developed although I would have liked to have seen more depth to both Oscar and Jack. Don’t get me wrong, there is a back story to both protagonists but I wanted just that little bit more to complete my reading experience and discover what made them truly tick. Jack is struggling to keep his occasional rebellious teenage son under control and a new relationship with Julie on the right track since his alcoholic wife left them both in the lurch. Jack has, as you would expect, more than enough baggage in his daily life but the Agent is so focused on solving this latest conundrum that he lets his personal life slide. Finding solace in a beer or a Jack Daniels, Harper is as hard working as they come often to the detriment of his relationships.

Now and then, when reading a book, I get the urge to meet a character, share a drink or shoot the breeze with and Total Immunity is no exception. Oscar Hidalgo, a Mexican by birth, isn’t what you would expect from a Federal Agent but it’s not only his short stature and ethnicity that intrigued me – it was his Grandmother and Grandfather! While conversing with Jack on a stakeout or during the course of a regular working day he would come up with some magnificent sayings and it made me want to meet not only Oscar but his Grandparents. Who knew his Grandmother would have such a foul mouth!

Like my old grandmother said The future is a cloud that no one can see. So the wise mutherfucker takes his shot today. And doesn’t whine like a pussy when he does it, either.

Ward rounds the story off well and although I had an inkling as to who was responsible towards the end I didn’t quite get everything right! I enjoyed the reasoning behind the murders; perhaps more importantly they were believable. A thoroughly enjoyable and light read Total Immunity is one book that will entertain from beginning to end. Its complexity is delivered through its main characters and you never quite get to the bottom of their stories, but there is certainly plenty of scope in future publications.

Published by Corvus Books, Total Immunity is available in hardback & Kindle (best price) formats.

  • 358 Pages — ISBN-10: 1848875673 — ISBN-13: 978-1848875678
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1 Response » to “Total Immunity by Robert Ward – Book Review”

  1. Mieneke says:

    This sounds like an awesome weekend read :-)

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