DEFENDER OF THE FAITH - Chris Allen
If, like me, you grew up on a diet of Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum and John Le Carre novels, there is a chance you're a bit of a fan of fast paced, military, espionage style novels. DEFENDER OF THE FAITH is a recent entry in the what is rapidly becoming a large pool of choice for Australian readers.
Set within our geographical and political sphere, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH introduces readers to Alex Morgan, special forces operative, good bloke, and all round bit of a hero. The action in this book is really very realistic, and it's not difficult to believe highly informed by the author's own background. There are some good, albeit somewhat expected characterisations, right down to the beautiful blonde love interest, the strong jawed, very Australian main character, and a series of nicely evil villains lead by a mysterious, excellent at disguises archetypal baddy type, all glowering evil genius and callous malevolence.
As this is a thriller there are some givens that readers must expect. A bit of energiser bunniness in the main character, winged frequently but never downed. There was a love story between the two main characters, and of course there was a level of physical attractiveness about them both, although I'm happy to report there were no signs of hair flicking and very little gratuitous comment on beautiful eyes and glorious legs...
What makes a thriller work, or not work, is how these clichés are delivered. In the case of DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, mostly everything worked, the plot was believable without the need to park your disbelief around the back and hide the keys; the love story wasn't too thickly applied, and whilst there was a bit of inexplicable jeopardy for all players, it did all gel. Maybe there are points where the plot got a little vague, but the action elements held up, and the pace certainly didn't let go.
Definitely something on the entertaining side, the only thing that was missing when I read DEFENDER OF THE FAITH was the box of chocolates and deck chair that you'd normally drag out at Christmas to sit down and be thoroughly and comprehensively entertained by a good espionage thriller.
DEFENDER OF THE FAITH is available in various formats - check out the website for details: http://defenderofthefaith.com.au/
When a seasoned British agent is brutally murdered in the small West African nation of Malfajiri, a sinister plot to overthrow the government and systematically extort the mineral rich, but struggling nation gains rapid momentum.
Enter INTREPID: The Intelligence, Recovery, Protection & Infiltration Division of INTERPOL.
INTREPID agents are the unassailable strangers amongst us, serving the world and operating beyond the influence of the most powerful nations. Hand-picked from a global pool they are part-soldier, part-policeman, part-spy.
INTREPID’s new star agent, Alex Morgan, is sent out on his first solo mission to hunt down the source of soviet surplus weapons haemorrhaging into Africa and Asia.
Infiltrating a private military company, Morgan finds himself in the middle of a bloody Malfajirian coup, determined to rescue a group of terrified British expats including the beautiful, inscrutable Arena Halls. Morgan sets out to hunt down the man at the centre of it all, vicious renegade intelligence officer Victor Lundt.
Unravelling a complex web of deceit, linking the coup to the heart of the British diplomatic community, Morgan uncovers secret deals with brutal rebel leaders, deposed dictators and the shadowy financial czars who pull their strings. Their objective: astronomical wealth. The cost: the lives of thousands, left to the mercy of international politics and big business.
A heart-pounding, no-holds-barred chase, spanning the dark continent of Africa to the crystalline waters of Sydney, culminates in a fight to the end to stop vicious renegade intelligence officer Victor Lundt and uncover the ultimate power behind him.
If only Morgan can stay alive long enough to bring them all to justice.