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Author: James Tarr
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, other book retailers

“Whorl: a fingerprint in which the central papillary ridges turn through at least one complete circle (Merriam-Webster) … ”


Dave Anderson is a part-time private investigator, part-time armored truck driver and a competitive shooter. With aspirations to join the FBI, he looks like a shoe-in—especially after being involved in a shoot-out with bad guys and saving the life of a cop.

However, it would be his FBI Special Agent application that would leave him running for his life. As his application was being verified and he was going through his background check, it was discovered that two other people have his exact fingerprint.

This discovery, if found out by the public, would render decades of legal cases invalid, causing mass upheaval across the globe.

Dave Anderson soon finds himself a target of government forces within the FBI, putting his competitive shooting skills to the test as he fights for his life against FBI hit teams comprised of former Special Ops members.

The Takeaway

This book is filled with memorable characters—including the city of Detroit, which serves as more than a backdrop and takes on a character of its own.

It’s refreshing to read a fictional action book written by someone who knows the ins and outs of the gun industry and could be classified as a gun expert. James Tarr is a former police officer, currently a professional shooter (he is a Grandmaster in USPSA), gun writer for several national gun magazines, as well as a gun show TV star.

When writing fiction, it’s always best to write about “what you know,” and this book definitely fits that bill for Tarr. I know him well enough on a personal level to say he knows far more about guns than he does about dressing himself! Not only does he get the jargon correct, he also gets the “feel” of modern gun culture.

Whorl is gritty, action-packed and portrays very realistic gun play. And once the story starts to unfold, you’ll find yourself engrossed in a web of treachery and intrigue. Whorl is definitely one of those books that’s hard to put down.

If you’ve ever read a James Tarr gun article or watched him on TV, you’ll find the humor in this novel to be familiar and enjoyable.

The best comparison I can make: Whorl is like reading a Jack Reacher novel, except that it is written by an author who gets his gun facts correct.

When I was done with this book, I found myself wanting to read more of the adventures of Dave Anderson.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.