Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great Combat Reading: Jack Murphy's PROMIS Series

Author in Afghanistan
Some of you may be familiar with the author's work as Jack Murphy is a regular contributor on Kitup! with a wide range of topics discussed including Mercenaries, DIY Combat Shirts, and plenty of weaponry. We of course keyed in on a lot of his posts related to the latest camouflage on the scene as he personally utilized and has seen different Special Operation's niche camo out in the field. 

His background as an Army Ranger and later a Green Beret in the 5th Special Forces Group have driven the expertise behind the topics that are touched in each article. This combined with information from colleagues has provided an inside perspective for Special Operations culture that is both engaging and knowledgeable. This expertise has poured over into multiple fictional works that Mr Murphy has released this year. 

Now a days we can be hard pressed to spend too much time reading fiction as we spend a lot of time researching new gear as well as military topics that are of interest to us and the "tactical" industry at large. However, with a little free time over the holiday break, there was time to breakdown and download some new literature to the phone for some 21st Century literary entertainment. 

PROMIS Issue #1 Vietnam by Jack Murphy
We had been eyeing some different military literature that recently came on the scene and Jack Murphy's was at the top of the list. There were plenty of reviews on Amazon from previous readers and most of them gave 5/5 stars. You always have that one douche that finds a reason to give 1 star on anything. These outliers are very easy to ignore on the principle that you are always going to have a whiner in the bunch. 

For some reason, reading a story backwards is not as interesting, so the first book read was at the start of the timeline with his first short story simply named PROMIS: Vietnam. Issue #1 of a possible 10-12 part series for PROMIS, is full of Cold War Intrigue and plenty of fast paced well written combat scenes combined with plenty of explanation on the development and execution of covert operations.

The PROMIS series will cover two decades starting at the end of Vietnam where the lead character, Sean Decard gains his veteran status with several dozen recon missions in the Special Observations Group. Deckard is clearly built up as a bad ass that is battle hardened through direct contact with the enemy Viet Cong on several of the missions and the loss of fellow soldiers along the way. The well written 360° coverage of the recon missions combined with interactions with the chain of command and CIA interaction in the plot make the overall story very fast reading and leaving you wanting more. 

Without giving too much away, it is well worth the measly one buck price on Amazon for direct download reading, that we easily did in one sitting. The only complaint could be from those that were involved in similar SOG missions who could see any inaccuracies or possible exaggerations in how things actually transpired. We are sure this is what 1 star douche boy at Amazon keyed in on for his gist in leaving his usual mark on the internets, however we certainly doubt personal knowledge. His myopic failing grade clearly couldn't look past this possibility and look at everything that was great with the first installment of the PROMIS Series. 

We checked in with Mr. Murphy on what is to come with his new fictional military series and he noted that along with PROMIS: Rhodesia, which is already available, South Africa will soon be released as it has been completed. In Rhodesia we find that Sean Deckard has moved past his service to the US Army and becomes a mercenary. This status carries over into Lebanon then Afghanistan coming next in the series. It will all conclude with excursions into Europe with a return to South East Asia at one point. The author also notes that an overall world wide criminal conspiracy will tie the different parts together, which is where you will find how the title PROMIS plays into the grand plot. What? Are you are not reading it already? 

Mr Murphy notes that a lot of research has gone into his fictional works to ensure that his representation of the various events surrounding the actions of Deckard are distinct and nearly exact. Of course, this is fiction so we don't expect 100% pristine accuracy. 

Nor, do we have to convince our self that one man could actually partake in all of the events that transpire for the protagonist. We would rather think of this character as a representative for all of those operators out there that have put their best foot forward in making this a better world to live in, even if immediate actions don't seem to go along with that notion. Plus, who wants to constantly learn a new name from one war zone to the next. We will let 1 star Cowboy at Amazon dot the i's and cross the t's on that concept. Hard charging combat, expertise driven character interaction and plot development is what made PROMIS stick with us. 

As a concurrent/followup to Promis, the author has also written a full novel that is already released called Reflexive Fire. This story follows the son of Sean Deckard from the PROMIS series. His name is  Deckard Jr., which brings even further simplicity to the overall picture. 

The novel and possible future works take a contemporary look at the actions of the lead character. This should be very interesting, since this story could better lend itself from Mr. Murphy's personal experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond.

It looks like he already has a hit from the reviews already available for Reflexive Fire. Although we are sure 1 star Cowboy will come  to wrangle in those ratings with some excuse for bashing it. In the meantime we will check it out for ourselves.  If it is anything like the first story we already read, it certainly won't disappoint. 

You can find all books by Jack Murphy including hard copies at his Amazon Author Page