Over The Line Book Reviews

Over The Line The second novel in the Jim Johnson O Trilogy series.

Over the Line Review by Joan Oliver 5-20-2020

Over the Line, another thrilling action adventure in this second book of R S Perry’s ‘O’ series, sees Colonel Jim Johnson once again fighting the forces of evil and pitting himself against the sexy psychopath Najma.

The action takes place in the North West United States, Texas, Mexico and London. It involves small and large scale battles between drug cartels, computer hackers and rogue individuals and eventually and unofficially, British and American Special Forces. The tension is gripping and the action moves at pace between the various strands and locations towards its inevitable and memorable climax. As we have come to expect from this author, the attention to tactical, topographical and technical detail is superb and accurate.

Johnson is an interesting hero, the traditional strong, silent type who rarely makes mistakes. But he is also, as the author has been, a scientist, soldier and llama rancher, interested in philosophy and a lover of beauty. It is this complexity and the relationships between the characters that sets the ‘O’ series apart. Jim’s relationship with Heather, who is much more center stage here, is deepened and rounded as is that of Brush, his partner in crime and Glenda, who provide a more overtly physical contrast. We get to know the members of the various teams in the forces and the university until they seem like old friends who we’re rooting for in every encounter. I couldn’t help almost cheering out loud as Jim and Brush glide into the hacienda in their futuristic conveyances but it would be giving the game away to say what happens next. We also get to know and understand the complex motives of people like Guillermo, the de facto leader of the drug cartel, and Amir and Sharifa, who get caught up in the evil almost against their will so that our reactions are not always simple.

Not so with Najma. Her sexually directed, sadistic violence and that of those she encourages and her utter lack of concern for others is heightened in this book by being contrasted with innocence in the form of a small boy. We know good will win in the end but what concerns us is the damage done along the way. Who will survive? Who will escape? How will the plot be foiled? You’ll have to go along for the nail-biting ride and read the book for yourself.