love the Alex Hawke novels for a number of reasons. I love the escape factor that each book brings. I love the steadily rising tension until the final big showdown. I love the recurring characters - Alex himself of course, but Congreve, Harry Brock and of course Stokely Jones. I also enjoy the exotic locales that each book takes me too. Unfortunately I didn't think that this latest book fulfilled all of those things as well as previous books in the series. The biggest disappointment was the tension buildup. I just found that this book just didn't keep building tension at all. In fact in some places it seemed contrived, forced and unbelievable. For example why would an assassin choose to use weapons as unpredictable as birds? Wouldn't they much rather use something more final and certainly more dependable like guns or knives? The exotic locales in this book were certainly not five star either. North Korea and Communist China? But my biggest disappointment was my beloved characters. At times they even seemed somewhat contrived. Some scenes in the book were still exciting though. My favourite was the infiltration into a prison camp that Hawke and his crew succeeded in completing and they came out with their lives and the people they were meant to find and rescue too. Still I managed to finish and I'm not discouraged yet. I'll be ready for another Alex Hawke adventure when Ted Bell decides to publish another.