Falcon

Birds of Flight - Book Four

Fiction - Action
348 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

In addition to creating the Birds of Flight series and the other award-winning science fiction stories, Future Prometheus and Intelligent Design, J. M. Erickson holds a BA in psychology and sociology from Boston College and a master’s degree in psychiatric social work from the Simmons School of Social Work. Certified in cognitive behavioral treatment and a post-trauma specialist, he is also a senior instructor of psychology and counseling at Cambridge College, visiting lecturer at Salem State University’s School of Social Work and a senior therapist in a clinical group practice in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Falcon is Book Four in the Birds of Flight action series by J.M. Erickson. Alexander J. Burns has been taken captive by Eric Daniels, his former boss at the Foreign Intelligence Agency. Daniels has never forgiven or forgotten Burns' departure from his assignment. Of the close-knit family that Burns had assembled around him in the past, all but Becky and Emma are still alive. This time, however, Daniels is the government's target. He's aligned himself with a radical survivalist group, who've been keeping Burns sedated while he's being brought to Daniels. The government is acting on information that Daniels has Burns in a mine in Colorado, and they've sent a team there to rescue Burns and apprehend Daniels.

J.M. Erickson's action thriller, Falcon: Birds of Flight Book Four, is an intense and demanding read that repays the reader's efforts many times over. While the author gives a great deal of background and provides a detailed List of Characters to allow new readers to enjoy Falcon as a stand-alone novel, I strongly recommend reading the entire series in order. The story that is woven through the four books is magnificently orchestrated and plotted. Erickson's characters, especially the enigmatic Burns, are compelling and real and seeing their personalities and relationships evolve throughout the series is marvelous. The plot is complex and can require some effort at times, especially in the beginning of Falcon, but Erickson's got it all under control as he adroitly weaves his spells in this latest story of Alexander J. Burns. Falcon: Birds of Flight Book Four is most highly recommended.

Rattan Whig

Falcon is a tremendous read, offering its readers a chance to explore the deepest recesses of criminology, and an insight into the psychology that drives perpetrators and their pursuers alike. The chapters are well detailed, action packed and riveting chronicles of ruthless chasing of a goal and an end, the merits of means taken to achieve that goal notwithstanding. Each character plays out their part very well in a superbly written tale and constant edge of the seat action is guaranteed as the reader takes in the unfolding scenes.

The few investigators assigned to the case go about their plans to net the perpetrators as quickly and with as little collateral damage as possible, while at the same time they are prepared to pay any price for the eventual capture. Forsaking personal comfort and forgetting pain, ignoring emotions and love or friendship, sidelining personal differences and past mistakes, they work together as a closely knit group to succeed in their one and only endeavor. To make it work, they need more luck and hard work than they could possibly fathom. They would be tested to their limits, physical as well as mental. Emotions can cast a cloud on sound judgment, especially when it comes to making critical decisions against an adversary who was once a beloved, yet that’s a challenge that they must confront while living in the constant shadow of doubts. What kind of maneuvering will it take? Are there any blind alleys which may spring an element of surprise? What are the odds of the prisoner escaping and inflicting damage on the captors? What kind of effect will it have on the captors once they come face to face with the perpetrators? These are just some of the questions the team must answer. Add to those unanswered questions the thrill of meeting an adversary who is highly trained and skilled in all manners of warfare; who is unflinching and remorseless; and who may not hesitate or waver in his attempts to break free and you have all the ingredients of an unforgettable journey. Little do they realize that the journey they plan to embark upon is more perilous than any they have undertaken so far.

The book has all the ingredients of an action packed thriller that keeps its readers constantly on the edge of their seats. The vividness of each scene leaves little to the imagination while the past memories in between the present day events are depicted magnificently with seamless merging.

Valerie Rouse

Falcon is a fast paced story based on spy extraordinaire Alexander Burns. Burns was captured by his boss, Daniels, who drugged him in order to obtain information from him. This plan backfired as Daniels’ other operatives mistakenly increased the dosage of the drugs administered to Burns. Burns was totally out of it and was unresponsive. Simultaneously, staff from the Federal Intelligence Agency worked around the clock, trying to locate both Daniels and Burns. Daniels was adept at subterfuge as he orchestrated several incidents to divert attention from his true location. Eventually, Daniels was killed. Burns was able to escape from his physical location as well as the drug induced hallucinations. He exposed Daniels’ secret hideout to the relevant authorities. Burns secluded himself once more from prying eyes and went underground.

Falcon is an enjoyable book about the workings of a spy agency. The language used is semi-formal to reflect the serious nature of the intelligence oriented scenarios. I love the action packed thrill of the chase which author J.M. Erickson aptly described. I was literally caught up in the twists and turns of the plot like the characters themselves. I enjoyed the ironic similarities between the confused state of the main character and his co-workers. This deliberate ploy by the author encourages the reader to become more engrossed in the plot and wonder whether the outcome would be a favorable one. The romantic thread was a welcome diversion as well. The main character was fully developed. I also appreciated the fact that the persona’s attachment to family members was clearly outlined. This obviously makes him seem more real. Overall, Falcon is a fitting nickname and book title. I recommend it to all lovers of spy and detective novels.

K.C. Finn

Falcon is the fourth novel in the Birds of Flight series by J.M. Erickson which chronicles the missions, adventures and trials of former government agent Alexander Burns. Filled with political intrigue and international settings, this instalment of the series begins with Burns in a drug-addled state, his memories of previous missions racing through his mind and obscuring his senses. What follows is a well-crafted web of characters with their own vendettas and missions to complete, who weave in and out of each other’s narrative as the scenes of the fast-paced narrative shift towards the ultimate resolution of everything, or so we think.

It took me a while to pick up on the narrative of Falcon, not having read the previous books, but J.M. Erickson displays a talent for giving little hints and flashes of the past in his writing so that I was able to piece together. Action/adventure type stories are not my usual read, but I found that Falcon certainly had all the high-octane ingredients that one would expect in such a tale: spies, vengeance, betrayals, rogue agents, death and destruction. For me, the tale was a little too full of the same archetype of testosterone-fuelled hero men to hold my interest, but for lovers of this genre of story, I’m sure that will be a bonus rather than a setback. Those who love a detailed and highly complex plot are sure to love Falcon’s ever-changing storyline, and its snappy, direct dialogue, and to-the-point action sequences make it a pacy, adrenaline-filled adventure.

Maria Beltran

Written by J.M. Erickson, Falcon, Book Four, is the latest installment in an adventure and action packed series called Birds of Flight. Alexander J. Burns, code named Falcon 5, is in a drug induced state and drifts in and out of reality. The controversial former US foreign intelligence agent has been captured alive for a debriefing and possible execution. Eric Daniels, his nemesis, directs his men around so that he can deal with Burns alone. He is not, however, the only one who is after Burns. Meanwhile, something is happening in a Rhode Island high rise and an operation to neutralize Daniels is also ongoing. To make matters more complicated, the Israeli, French and Italian intelligence services also have their own agendas.

Author J.M. Erickson brings his readers to the edge of their seats once again in Falcon. As the story unravels with former agent Alexander Burns held captive and hallucinating, one is forced to connect the puzzle to get to the bottom of things. Mesmerizing his audience with tidbits of events in the clandestine world of fallen foreign agents, Erickson makes it difficult for his readers to put down his book. As one turns the pages, the crescendo of thrill abates and rises again as we go through the narrative’s twists and turns. When everything looks dim for Burns, another enigmatic character from his past emerges and one wonders where all of these will bring us in the end. This is one book that will hold you captive until the last page.