#ThrowbackThursday ~ Two Nick Bracco Thrillers (A Touch of Deceit/A Touch of Revenge) by Gary Ponzo #AudiobookReview

I really enjoyed listening to these books which were released by Audible in 2013 and performed by RC Bray. 

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

My Thoughts

How often does an FBI Agent have a relative and a friend in the Mafia? Nick Bracco does. His cousin, Tommy Bracco and boyhood friend, Silk. The three men grew up together and have remained close. Nick is the head of an anti terrorist unit and he and his partner, Matt McColm, capture a Kurdish terrorist, Rashid Baser. The leader of the terrorists, Kemel Kharrazi retaliates by taking Nick’s brother hostage. The Kurdish group of terrorists are in the United States to orchestrate a spate of terrible bombings demolishing houses across every state in America, payback for the US involvement in the war between the Turks and the Kurds. The KSF want the American troops out of Turkey and they are prepared to kill American citizens without discrimination. Nick and Matt are now involved in a plot which ultimately aims to bomb the White House.

When Tommy is injured in a revenge attack and Nick’s wife is targeted, the FBI and the Mafia join forces behind the scenes. Nick’s heritage is Sicilian and things are getting far too personal for his liking.

I really enjoyed this first in the Nick Bracco series. A fast-moving story with compelling and strong characters who are all well-rounded from the start, the glimpses into their personal lives gives them substance and distinction.  Nick’s issues and the situation he finds himself in make him very human and engaging. The dialogue flows naturally and believably, the plot excellent and well thought through. The main antagonist is well conceived, ruthless and menacing.

Nick and Matt are the perfect team, each playing off the other’s strengths, and they have a terrific relationship. The inclusion of Silk, Tommy and Sal gave the whole thing a noticeable difference in direction – a definite plus. Tommy and Silk can, and do, go beyond the lines of accepted behaviour from law enforcement. 


Nick Bracco and his wife thought Nick leaving the FBI and taking a job as the sheriff of Payson, Arizona was the answer to living a quiet family life after the death of Kemel Kharrazi. But the terrorists haven’t given up, Nick and Julie are still targets. Matt and his girlfriend, Jennifer Steele, have also moved to Arizona and are still working for the FBI, tracking down the remainder of the KSF cell who have a new leader and a deadly mission. Add a Russian assassin into the mix and prepare for an explosive and thrilling ride.

The bullet left the sniper’s rifle at 3,000 feet per second. Unfortunately, Nick Bracco didn’t hear the shot until it was too late. He was sitting on his back porch staring at a pregnancy test his wife had just handed him. It was positive. 

Those are the opening few lines and it’s full tilt from then on. Nick is reinstated and heads an elite team tracking down the now leader of the terrorists, Barzani, and his followers. When his team members begin to be murdered one by one Nick enlists the help of his cousin, Tommy, who proves invaluable (and adds so much to the story.) Nick, Matt and Tommy’s characters are developed further and Gary Ponzo isn’t afraid to let their human sides and personality quirks show which adds to the realism. 

So, we have another very well written, plausible and action packed storyline with multiple shocks and surprises. Political intrigue at the highest levels and an alliance between the FBI, the CIA and the mafia to protect America from impending disaster at all costs. The plot is full of twists I couldn’t see coming, especially the superb ending. And an excellent narration by R C Bray delivers perfect voices and characterisations. 

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