The Watchman – Chris Ryan – 7/10

Chris Ryan Acquired in a double edition with The Kremlin Device.

Summary: Someone’s knocking off MI5’s top brass. Alex has to stop him before he completes the set. Much easier said than done. Particularly when the stroppy girlfriend and the sprightly intelligence employee are taken into consideration…

This initially made no sense to me whatsoever – we went from a prologue in northern Ireland to the jungles of somewhere hellish in Africa , and the two settings took quite a while to reunite – but as I got into it, I found it much more delicately developed than The Kremlin Device. The cast was much more disparate in nature so interpersonal conflict could develop.

Plot-wise it was a bit thin (there’s only so much pursuit around the UK that I could pay attention to), but I did not see the twist coming at all! and the epilogue was quite gratifying. There was the same colourful language as in Kremlin Device, and the relationship stuff all seemed a bit unnecessary (although had it not been in there I would have been complaining about one-dimensional women) but Alex spent so much time thinking rather than acting, that it felt like his character was actively and thoroughly developed. On reflection I’m not sure that it was, but (again, as in KD) it was certainly engaging and plenty of fun.



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