Thursday, 1 February 2018
Exile by James Swallow
After Nomad Marc Dane is persona non-grata in everyone's organisation but someone has to take him and he's given a dead-end, almost clerical role, in the International Atomic Energy Agency where his boss hopes he'll put the hours in, keep his head down and keep out of everyone's hair. Readers of Nomad will know that's not very likely to happen.
Picking up a lead that he is told is a dead end and a waste of time he starts to track what he believes is a suitcase nuclear bomb. But while the lead seems hot to him no-one else is prepared to take him seriously apart from his only friend in the agency who he ends up putting in the hospital and finding himself totally alone in pursuit of his case - and he can't do it alone.
While mostly fast paced I did find with Exile (unlike Nomad) that there were times when words seemed to be included that increased the page count but did not enhance the story. That is to say, at times the plot slowed for seemingly no real good reason. That said, the publishers liken Dane to Jason Bourne and that's not a bad comparison except I don't recollect Bourne having a right hand man like Lucy Keyes. Keyes is not insignificant in the plot and the book would be a lot poorer without her. Like Jason Bourne, you know where the plot is going to go and where it's going to end up and the only surprises come in getting from A to B. But it's fun on the journey and escapism rules the book.
As far as action thriller writers go, Swallow is up there with the best of them so keep an eye out because the last chapter tells us there will be more to come.
Genre: Adult Action Thriller