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Friday, 19 December 2014

'Slingshot' by Matthew Dunn

Published by Orion Books,
27 March 2014.
ISBN 978-1-4091-4400-7

The spy thriller's prologue is in an abandoned military barracks in 1995 Berlin where a very high level meeting between opponents takes place.  The behaviour of the rats that inhabit the complex as they tear each other to pieces certainly warns of the events to follow.  We continue to an operation to capture a defector in present day Gdansk which fails during a gun battle between Western and Russian secret agents as the defector is snatched by another group.  This story crackles with violence. 

The book shows a remarkable level of intelligence work over a wide canvas while building an explosive head of suspense.  Although there are many characters the telling details make some of  them come alive so that the reader cares about their progress.  The protagonist is Will Cochrane, a British espionage agent of vast experience and skill whose life has been dedicated to his work.  The search for a deadly secret covers many parts of Europe and reveals numerous enemies - sometimes enemies  can cooperate and sometimes friends are revealed as traitors.  The denouement leaves the reader with the possibility of further adventures for Will Cochrane.

A lengthy appendix explains technical terms used.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Slingshot is the third story to feature Will Cochrane.  Author Matthew Dunn is a former MI6 field officer.

Matthew Dunn was an MI6 field officer who recruited and ran agents, coordinated and participated in special operations, and acted in deep-cover roles throughout the world. He operated in highly hostile environments, where, if compromised and captured, he would have been executed. Dunn was trained in all aspects of intelligence collection, deep-cover deployments, small-arms, explosives, military unarmed combat, surveillance, and infiltration.
Medals are never awarded to modern MI6 officers, but Dunn was the recipient of a very rare personal commendation from the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs for work he did on one mission, which was deemed so significant that it directly influenced the successful conclusion of a major international incident.
During his time in MI6, Dunn conducted approximately seventy missions. All of them were successful. He lives in England.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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