Chris Allen’s DEFENDER Book One of the INTREPID Series

I’m not a big fan of the action/thriller genre. They’re always a bit hyper-real for me; the story, the action, the characters. I like a good gritty story without too much make-believe. Even in film it is not my favourite genre but there are always good ones the can cut through, especially if you’re in the right mood.

I don’t think I would have picked this book up it if it wasn’t for the Momentum Books Podcast; Podmentum. Another fantastic example of this digital-only publisher doing something the other publishers don’t/won’t/can’t. And doing it very well. Normally the podcast is a discussion of three topical issues in the book industry interspersed with one or two shameless plugs (which are just as entertaining) but for the launch of the second INTREPID book Hunter they had Chris Allen as a guest to discuss James Bond as Skyfall had recently opened. Chris is a massive Ian Fleming/James Bond fan and the discussion was really insightful and Chris mentioned how much Fleming’s writing had inspired him. So I decided to give the book a go.

INTREPID is a group inside Interpol whose members are part-cop, part-spy, part-soldier. They’re the strong (and secret) arm of the International Criminal Police Organization. After seizing a shipment of illegal arms INTREPID Agent Alex Morgan is sent into Malfajiri, a small fictional country in West Africa. A rebel coup is brewing and two British Agents have gone missing from a mining operation in the country. Morgan quickly discovers that the coup is a piece in a more complex puzzle being orchestrated by a group that may have ties inside the British Government.

The action is intense and the story very well plotted. There are no make-believe gadgets or over-the-top villains, the story is grounded in the real world, but there is a love interest, of course. Chris Allen keeps you guessing while also showing you what is happening on both sides. I loved the Australian element to the story and Chris Allen’s past in the military brings a real authenticity to the action. The climatic showdown in Sydney entered the hyper-real but by then I was already invested. I may not be a convert to the genre but I will definitely be reading book 2, Hunter, to find out what happens next.

ISBN: 9781743341377
ISBN-10: 1743341377
Classification: Adventure , Espionage & spy thriller
Format: Paperback (229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 374
Imprint: Pan Australia
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2012
Country of Publication: Australia

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