Syrens Song (Connor Stark #2) By Claude Berube

B: Good 21st Century swashbuckler with a rogue at the helm. I bought it used on Amazon from a charity in Massachusetts. It had been advertised as in good condition, but it turns out to be in near perfect condition and a signed gift to another techno-thriller author (who will remain nameless). The author’s recent tweet indicates a new Connor Stark novel is in the works, set in the South China Sea, looking forward to it. 9781612519159 This was a decent read, with plenty of action and intrigue. It was written well, with characters that fit the roles they were given and dialogue that felt true, natural, and matched the situation in which it was said. And though it fit within the typical ‘military fiction’ genre, with tons of acronyms and language that was included not to move the story forward, but to prove the author knows their stuff, this book had less of that than others I’ve read.
I did feel the plot moved far too quickly, the operations the heroes engaged were successful far too easily, and everything was wrapped up just when the story really began to get good.
The story left me wanting to read the prequels to this book, and I probably will pick up more of Berube’s work down the road. 9781612519159 Warned of a pending guerrilla attack on ports in Sri Lanka, the admiral mounts preparations to protect them. When the Tamil Sea Tigers’ assault begins, all the technological advancements at his disposal prove useless. Within minutes the navy’s ships and personnel have been decimated.

Connor Stark, founder of Highland Maritime Defense, heads to India to oversee the shakedown cruise of a new ship before turning Syren over to her permanent crew. The destruction of the Sri Lankan navy thwarts those plans, when the country’s ambassador offers Stark a letter of marque to provide security for Sri Lanka and to gather intelligence about the Sea Tigers for the American navy ships on loan to Sri Lanka. Although it sounds like an easy job, experience has taught Stark that nothing is ever easy. But the money offered is sufficient to pay for more upgrades to Syren and a bonus to her crew and security team.

Journalist Melanie Arden heads to Sri Lanka as a favor – a simple request until the ransacked and abandoned farming village resurrects memories of her time in Rwanda and Bosnia. Determined to expose the villains responsible and hold them accountable for the evil they do, she soon finds herself a prisoner of the Sea Tigers.

“Patient” and “lethal” are the two words that perfectly describe Vanni, leader of the Sea Tigers. He has waited a long time to exact his revenge. Now, with the help of a young scientist, he has a new and powerful weapon that will allow him to destroy those responsible for killing his comrades and to create a new nation.

Damien Golzari’s latest investigation takes him to Singapore where a fellow diplomatic security agent has been murdered. Golzari soon discovers his friend’s death is tied to a secretive research company, missing equipment, and an element called hafnium. The trail leads him back home to the States where assassins await. The botched attempt to kill him and what he learns about hafnium lead him to Sri Lanka. Getting there proves something of a problem until a friend offers him a ride aboard USS LeFon.

After the terrorist attack, Commander Jaime Johnson and the crew of USS LeFon are sent to escort two littoral combat ships and an admiral to Sri Lanka. But that arrogant officer and Jaime have crossed paths before, and it takes all her self-control and presence of mind to keep control of her ship and protect her crew. On the day the three ships arrive, the admiral ignores Stark’s warning call and Jaime’s protests to devastating results.

Reading this second Connor Stark novel is like meeting up with old friends not seen in a long time. The characters are portrayed with such depth and realism that we are soon reacquainted and riveted on the edge of our seats as they recount this gripping thriller that unfolds over the course of thirty-three days. We have no problems feeling each one’s emotions, good and bad. This complicated tale is told in a way that we easily comprehend what’s happening – even the scientific aspects – and Berube expertly spins separate threads into an intricately woven tapestry that raises the hairs on our necks and sends shivers down our spines.
9781612519159 A good, fast-paced novel for anyone who enjoys maritime adventure and a good, solid hero. Connor Stark is a likable guy, former U.S. Navy captain and now the owner of a Scotland-based maritime security company. He winds up--along with his newly-acquired vessel, Syren--enmeshed in a violent effort by the Tamil Sea Tigers to destroy the Sri Lankan Navy and avenge the Tamil people. Berube provides enough background for us to understand the Tamils' plight and feel sympathy for the persecution they have suffered, but because the Tigers resort to terrorism, torture, and slavery to achieve their goals, they must be put down. The novel is smartly written and well researched by an author who has many years of related expertise--and knows where to turn for the details he doesn't know. (He provides useful notes at the back of the book.) I recommend it. 9781612519159 Syren’s Song: A Connor Stark Novel by Claude Berube is the second book in the Connor Stark series. In the second novel, the protagonist, Connor Stark goes to Sri Lanka and is tasked with investigating a new weapon that the separatist Tamil Tiger army had developed and with which it attacked the Sri Lankan navy.
Syren’s Song is a full-octane spy and military thriller. Claude Berube dives straight into action from the first line and is extremely good in keeping your interest throughout this fast-paced thriller. Read the entire review at

Reviewed by Michael Shulman 9781612519159

Syren's Song is the second novel featuring Connor Stark, and it promises to be just as engaging as The Aden Effect. This geopolitical thriller begins when the Sri Lankan navy is unexpectedly attacked by a resurgent and separatist Tamil Tiger organization. The government issues a letter of marque to former U.S. Navy officer Connor Stark, now the head of the private security company Highland Maritime Defense. Stark and his eclectic compatriots accept the challenge only to learn that the Sea Tigers who crippled the Sri Lankan navy are no ordinary terrorists.
The Sea Tigers have created a new weapon that not even the West possesses, fueling it with a previously undiscovered element. By creating a localized electro-magnetic pulse (EMP), the group and its ruthless leader, Vanni, can effectively neutralize any ship, airplane, or missile. With this weapon they're poised to instigate instability throughout the region.
Half a world away a U.S. diplomatic security agent is found murdered and the Iranian-born Damien Golzari is tasked with the investigation. He finds more than just murder, uncovering a conspiracy connected to the Sea Tigers and their new weapon.
Meanwhile in the forests of Sri Lanka a veteran journalist gets close to uncovering the Sea Tigers mining operation. She learns that they are using local children as laborers, but before she can find out what they are mining, she is discovered by the Sea Tigers.
Connor Stark sets out aboard Syren, a former Navy experimental vessel now the flagship of Highland Maritime. Stark and his team race against the clock to prevent another Sea Tiger attack, aided by the help of an old friend leading a U.S. Navy force. Guided by fate or just dumb luck, they unite with Golzari and the journalist. When the Sea Tigers surround Syren, Connor, Golzari, and the journalist must come up with a plan to escape. But the Tigers won't be beaten so easily, and after cornering Stark and capturing him, he'll learn firsthand if the relationships he's cultivated will prove strong enough to beat the odds.
With new allies and new enemies, Stark and company face terrorism, war, conspiracy, and murder. Claude Berube has set Stark up for another exciting adventure. Syrens Song (Connor Stark #2)

First Berube book I've read; very good read! 9781612519159 Completely adequate thriller covers nautical and technological warfare with diverse resourceful good guys and despicable bad guys. It actually uses every pleasant cliche and doesn't get much deeper. 9781612519159

Claude Berube ↠ 6 free read