Special Means

Fiction - Thriller - General
342 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent supporting counterespionage and antiterrorism operations throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. Ceroni grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he attended public schools. He received a congressional nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy, graduating with a B.S. Degree in International Relations, and received his M.A. Degree from Case Western Reserve University. Ceroni also completed studies in German and French languages at the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of numerous intelligence and law enforcement training forums. An award-winning author of four novels, his poetry has also been published in several magazines. He is a member of Authors Guild and lives in Colorado with his family.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Special Means is a work of fiction in the thriller and suspense sub-genres and was penned by author Andrew Ceroni. Written for adult audiences, the work contains some instances of graphic violence and the use of explicit language. When a somewhat naïve first-term president accepts an offer from covert ops to help him eliminate gang violence, one brave CIA agent is about to discover that this solution hides agendas that are far worse than the original problem. What results is a high-octane thrill ride as Agent Dave McClure investigates a deep-black program and finds a conspiracy that could topple American civilization as we know it, and end his life in the process.

Author Andrew Ceroni has crafted a superb and highly enjoyable thrill ride which encompasses all the core ingredients of a truly gripping thriller tale. The complexity of the plot is impressive, and Ceroni stays firmly in the driver’s seat of the narration to be sure that his audience gets the right exposition at the right time, deepening the mystery but balancing the pace of the action so that there’s never a dull moment. I was also very impressed with the dialogue, which characterizes both McClure and the people who help or hinder him on his mission and saves us some time in character development as we get to know them through their realistic manners of speaking. Overall, Special Means is a well-crafted and superbly-paced thriller novel that I would highly recommend for military, suspense, and conspiracy fiction fans alike.

Rabia Tanveer

Special Means by Andrew Ceroni is a thriller/crime story that will take you on an adrenaline-inducing ride. When gangs are targeted viciously in Denver, CIA Agent Dave McClure is tasked with finding the core of this violence and stopping it before it gets out of hand. While on the surface the group is purging the city of gangs, Dave finds out that the group has bigger and far more terrifying plans. The deeper Dave and his team look, the more disturbing are the nightmares he unearths. The safety of innocent people and the future of the country are at the stake. Dave has to do whatever it takes to stop this group before it is too late. This is a race against time and Dave has to put his and his family’s lives on the line to make sure he saves the lives of millions. Can Dave succeed, even though he is up against a group that holds far more power than he anticipated?

Special Means by Andrew Ceroni opens with a bang and the momentum only increases from there. This high-paced novel has action, mystery, and a great protagonist who understood his limitations and worked with every advantage he had. The setting and the world-building are handled exceptionally well. The author brought life to every page and made sure the reader was hooked the moment the story opened. The author gives little hints for readers as the mystery unfolds. I won’t give away much because there is so much to uncover. Honestly, putting the book down was a big issue for me and I literally finished reading it in a single sitting. All I can say is; the author draws realistic scenarios whether talking about the threat to the people or even the federal government. I can guarantee you will have a great time and love every moment of this book.

Viga Boland

Something very rotten is being plotted against the existing US president and his government. Special agent Dave McClure recently returned from Europe is soon after dispatched to get some intel as to what is behind the horrific gang violence occurring in key cities. On the one hand, it seems desirable that gangs are ridding the streets of each other, but as Dave digs in and innocent folks, like an old hunter and his dog, are inexplicably assassinated when exploring one of their favorite mountain areas, or two regular cops are blasted away when they show up to investigate an explosion, everything points to something far more sinister than gang warfare. How Dave and his immediate superiors ferret out the dastardly plot without Dave losing his own life keeps readers hanging on edge of this fifth novel by the gifted and knowledgeable Andrew Ceroni.

Even if you’re not familiar with award-winning author Andrew Ceroni or haven’t read one of his previous four novels, you will realize within the first few chapters of Special Means that this is an exceptional writer. What’s more, you will quickly recognize that Ceroni really knows what he is writing about: the military, politics, the CIA, the FBI, and all the intrigue that is part and parcel of an intelligence agent’s job. That’s because Ceroni’s career has included being a senior supervisory special agent who has worked internationally. Therein lies the authenticity of the plot and characters portrayed in Special Means. It took me a little time to catch onto who was who when the story opened: Ceroni introduces a lot of characters and skilfully provides their backstories before plunging readers into a plot so riveting it’s impossible to put the book down.

My enjoyment of Special Means rests not only in the excellence of the writing but in what I learned about how agencies like the CIA and the FBI operate, what resources they employ, the devices and arms they use, how they communicate both within their guarded offices and out in the thick of the action. While TV shows like FBI give us a thrill, Andrew Ceroni gives us a less dramatic but quite probably more authentic account of what really goes on. That said, more than ever now I realize how very unlikely it is that what we read in the daily news is accurate or truthful. Thanks for the eye-opener, Andrew Ceroni. You gave us all that, along with some loving and touching moments between characters to remind us that behind all the exciting action are real human beings. Bravo!