Sunday 4 November 2018



'A story so muscular and breakneck we can barely catch our breath . . . lingers with us long after we reach the final page' Megan Abbott

Ex-mercenary Ray Devlin is living a simple life off the grid in Florida, when a visit from an old colleague stirs some bad memories - and ends with a gunshot. Soon Devlin is forced to face a past he'd hoped to leave behind, as a member of a private military force that helped put a brutal South American dictator in power.

Tracy Quinn is an investigative journalist at a struggling Philadelphia newspaper. What appears at first to be a straightforward homicide draws her and Devlin together, ultimately entangling them in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the US government.

Before long, they become the targets of a ruthless assassin haunted by his own wartime memories. For Devlin, it could mean a last shot at redemption. For Tracy, the biggest story of her career might just cost her her life.

My kind of book and my kind of author if Some Die Nameless is typical of Wallace Stroby's work.

We have an explosive start when an old friend drops in on Ray Devlin and tries to kill him. Devlin then sets out to discover why a former friend and colleague wanted him dead and if someone else is going to come gunning for him. Quelle surprise - there is!

A mercenary past, reconnecting with an old friend, a barroom massacre, an unsolved murder, an investigative journalist, an ultra-ambitious politician with a less than squeaky clean past and a take no prisoners clean the house operation to eliminate a threat to his potential multi-billion dollar defence contracts, threats to family, the newspaper business, politics, shady operations abroad, a boat trip to a secluded island and lots more.

Compelling, thrilling, exciting, dangerous - plenty of action with Devlin in the cross hairs of some capable adversaries. I particularly liked his poke the bear response and his fightback. I loved how the plot unfolded and others were sucked into the maelstrom, especially the newspaper journalist, Tracy Quinn. Quinn and Devlin collaborate. There's more than one way to skin a cat, the pen being mightier than the sword. Sometimes you need both.

Pace, story, topicality, likable characters, heart, action, outcome. What more do I want from my reading? Nothing.

It's kind of hard to do the book justice without rambling on for ages and narrating lots of events. You'd do far better just reading the thing yourself. At a clip under 300 pages, it won't take long, I guarantee.

4.5 from 5

Some Die Nameless is Wallace Stroby's eighth novel, but my first taste of his work. Most of the others including four in his Crissa Stone series sit on the shelf waiting. 

Read in October, 2018
Published - 2018
Page count - 295
Source - Net Galley review copy courtesy of Mulholland Books
Format - ePub file read on laptop


  1. It sounds very potent, Col. And it can really add to the story when you have two people working together who come from different perspectives. I may have to look out for this one.

    1. Margot, I really liked this one a lot. You're right about the two different approaches adding to the mix.

  2. Not sure if I've read anything by Stroby or not. I've made a mental note.

    1. Hopefully your library may offer something by him.

  3. Col, this is my kind of fiction too, at least I enjoy reading in this genre. I like it when the plot involves old hands and vets forced out of retirement or hibernation for that one last job.

    1. Prashant, it is definitely a feature that I enjoy. I recently read a heist book where the main character wanted to retire but needed some funds from one last job. Here, Devlin's participation is a matter of survival with limited options.

  4. This book is for me, Col. Thanks for the review. And isn’t that a great title?

    1. Elgin, I think you would enjoy it. I'm still mulling over the significance of the title and how it relates to the story.