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Spy thriller set in Colombia and London

21st March 2018

Crisis by Frank Gardner – spy thriller set in Colombia and London.

Spy thriller set in Colombia and London

Crisis was published in June 2016, and has been on my TBR (To Be Read) pile pretty much ever since. I wanted to read the book because I have much admired Frank as the BBC’s security correspondent and wanted to see how he would write a fast paced thriller. I was not disappointed. For those of you who do not know, Frank was severely wounded in an Al Qaeda attack in Yemen in 2004 – his cameraman was killed, and he was left for dead with eleven bullets in him. He was an officer in the Green Jackets and worked in banking in Saudi Arabia, he speaks fluent Arabic. Frank is the real thing – and his knowledge comes through loud and clear in Crisis. You just presume that his telling of how MI5, MI6, and the other security services work is as accurate as it can be.

Not, of course, that Crisis is a believable story. It is from the Frederick Forsyth school of thriller writing – a brilliantly fashioned, but unlikely tale – executed by an adrenaline-fuelled cast of characters. The pace never lets up from the narcotics dens of Colombia, the murder of a serving MI6 officer in the same country, the torture, deceit, and corruption of the drugs gangs, though to a kidnapping in London and the machinations of the security services as they prepare for the worst.

Luke Carlton is an ex-SBS officer. He is seconded to MI6 on a trial basis and, because he speaks fluent Spanish, is sent to Colombia to investigate when an MI6 officer is murdered while investigating one of the most notorious drugs gangs. What was he on the brink of discovering and reporting back to London? What is Nelson Garcia (‘El Pobrecito’ – ‘poor thing’), leader of the gang, planning to do? And how can Luke and the security services stop him? The action swings back and forth between London and Colombia as the story moves to a thrilling climax. To use an overworked phrase, it is indeed a ‘page turner’.

Crisis was published in 2016 to much critical acclaim. Since then Frank has written the second book in the Luke Carlton series. Ultimatum will be published in May this year. It is set in Iran and sounds every bit as exciting as Crisis. A treat to look forward to.

Tony for the TripFiction team

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  1. User: Janine Phillips

    Posted on: 21/03/2018 at 9:12 am

    I think this one needs to go on my tbr list