Hunt for the Enemy - final cover

Beginning a trilogy by reading the finale probably isn’t the greatest idea I’ve ever had.

Who is Angela Grainger? Why did she try to shoot Carl Logan? Why did Logan’s agency, the JIA (Joint Intelligence Agency) disown him? I had no idea, but hoped I would find out in this ‘action-packed finale’.

What’s it about?

Carl Logan, previously an ‘invaluable [intelligence] asset’, has been framed for murder and is on the run in Russia. While everyone who’s anyone in international Intelligence seeks to capture him, Logan aims to evade detection and discover who framed him while rescuing another ‘asset’, Angela Grainger. Meanwhile, agents from all allegiances are dying; why? Only Logan has the skills and the personal history that will enable him to put a stop to the dying.

What’s it like?

As per the blurb: action-packed. I can completely imagine this as a film, with betrayal and violence exploding onto the screen every few minutes, interspersed with meaningful glances between the main protagonists and sweeping shots of unforgivingly artic scenery. Logan is not infallible, but like all the best action heroes he gets up and does the job regardless of minor and even major wounds.

I’ve no idea how committed an agent Logan was in the first two books, ‘Dance with the Enemy’ and ‘Rise of the Enemy’, but, although evidently skilled, he is clearly burned out now and more interested in saving himself than his country. I was reminded of Jason Bourne and his desire for a civilian life; Logan must identify who has framed him, who is chasing him, then find a way to persuade them to leave him alone. Like Bourne, Logan finds he cannot go back to being an unquestioning asset, leaving his future uncertain; this helps make him a much more sympathetic character than he could have been, given the brutal force he is capable of unleashing.

Fans of the series will enjoy the glimpses Sinclair offers into Logan’s brutal past life, especially some of his earliest training missions, and these ultimately help to provide justifications for the mayhem at the end. The end marks a clear departure for Logan, with a clear resolution that I felt was slightly marred by a final unexpected (and arguably unrealistic) development that leaves the door open for some kind of follow-up to the trilogy.

Final thoughts

If you enjoy action thrillers, you’ll likely enjoy this, but I strongly recommend starting at the begining. I imagine that greater familiarity with the characters would make the multiple betrayals and revelations more stunning. It’s impossible to know who to trust so tensions run high throughout and, despite minor quibbles – one scene is deliberately misleading in a way that annoyed me in retrospect, and Logan’s stragegy in Kazakstahn seems counter-intuitive to say the least, possibly even daft – the quick pace of the discoveries makes this a gripping read for espionage fans.

‘Hunt for the Enemy’,
Rob Sinclair,
Clink Street, 2016, paperback
Many thanks to the author, Rob Sinclair, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.