review published on January 30, 2014. Reviewed by Sara Garland
Nudge Reviewer Rating:
The popular Character Nick Stone has returned in McNab’s latest, tense, wholly absorbing thriller. This is the 15th book in the Nick Stone series. Some readers had thought the character had been put to bed, but he’s just too popular to totally side-line.
For the uninitiated, McNab has a history in the forces and was member of the 22 SAS regiment. His profile came firmly to the fore when after leaving the SAS in 1993, he wrote his experiences about the Gulf War where he commanded Bravo Two Zero, for which he was highly decorated. He is the author of a number of bestselling thrillers. He also lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK and is also a patron of the Help for Heroes campaign.
This story starts in 1993, with Nick deep under cover on a specialist surveillance mission with another colleague Dino, to locate Jesus Orjuela, the boss of the world’s most murderous drugs cartel and terminate him. Despite taking so much time and patience, he has to strike the target before he leaves the lodge. Unable to confirm it to be a fatal shot, Stone has to get close enough to check, forcing him to be eyeballed by the man’s wife and son.
It then moves to 2012 when Nick is in Moscow with his wife to be Anna. Russian life is quite an experience and steeped in corruption and some still 3rd world living conditions. It’s quite a complicated life style, made a whole lot worse, when Anna being pregnant gets taken to and trapped within the local communist style hospital; when all they want to do is get to their private hospital.
Worse still a friend of his has disappeared, probably kidnapped, so Nick goes back into military mode trying to locate and rescue her, whilst Anna and their premature baby fight for life. It takes him on a journey into Hong Kong picking up the trail of serious drug traders with heavy artillery and security.
It’s a classic story where the protagonist’s past catches up with him and the need to negotiate his way around these life threatening situations to roux another day. What McNab does, is do it at break neck speed, immersed in tension, with lots of insider thinking and tactics to intrigue and enthral.
All the usual ingredients in McNab books still prosper, perhaps not quite as strongly as in earlier Nick Stone books, but still in a confident and immersive manner. It’s an easy and engaging story, with memorable characters, which McNab fans and new readership should enjoy equally. Solid drama as usual, that should appeal to a wide range of readers.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John le Carre
An extract from Unfaithfully Yours, by Nigel Williams
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