Most of my recreational reading is non-fiction. I’ll make an exception for a handful of gun-savvy novelists such as Stephen Hunter. I made the mistake at the local library of picking up a novel about an independently wealthy FBI agent who stays in the Presidential Suite at the Fontainebleu hotel while on official assignment. He carries a Les Baer Custom 1911 pistol, generally works alone, and is the Bureau’s version of Sherlock Holmes. In this particular book, he is assigned to a partner who carries a Browning Hi-Power. In the course of a single encounter he kills multiple alligators with his pistol, at least one while underwater with it, and while under fire determines “from the sound and the character of the rifle, that the man was firing a scoped Winchester 94, .30-30.” Guy has one hell of an ear, huh?
Just for the record, there was a brief window long since closed in which a member of the highest speed, lowest drag FBI special unit might have had a Les Baer 1911, and the elite Hostage Rescue Team was once issued Novak Custom Browning Hi-Powers, but neither fictional agent was assigned to such a team in this 2018 novel. The two co-writers had obviously done a bit of research, but not enough. And, it should be noted, lone wolf agents don’t fit the FBI protocol.
Oh, and by the way, the ultimate bad guy turns out to be a cop. Who is about to kill the hero when he himself is hatchet-chopped in the head by a serial killer. Ah, the realism. One gets a sense the authors don’t like cops much. At the end they comment in narrative,“…the police tended to close ranks around their own, even the rotten apples…” Uh, yeah, sure. That’s why they have internal affairs units, I guess. Good Lord.
Crappy research does not make good fiction. Even when there’s a good plot and solid characters, neither of which I saw in this novel, poor research destroys the “willing suspension of disbelief” required for fiction to work well. It’s like seeing an actor in a Robin Hood film with a wrist watch: it kind of blows the whole effect.