Review - Helldiver, Chris Allen
Alex Morgan is back in the 4th book in the Intrepid series and he's got his mojo back. Just in time as the black ops Intrepid division is in real trouble and Morgan and Elizabeth Reigns are the only agents who can sort out the mess.
The Intrepid books are an absolute gem of a thriller series from Australian author (and ex-paratrooper) Chris Allen. Getting the military and action aspects spot on is one highlight, but where Allen really excels is in getting nuance and emotion into an all action type hero, equally capable of hand to hand combat or ruthless gun-play in the event that it's required.
In HELLDIVER the plot is nicely twisty with some just evil as well some misguided baddies. There are harks back to the bad old days of the Soviet Union and the KGB, linked forward to the world of current day Russian oligarch's. There's some gloriously over the top luxury locations with huge yachts, and huge houses, just as you'd expect in the best of spy thriller books and novels.
At the heart of it all though is Alex Morgan. He of the sometimes sore feet, and the questioning of his commitment, along with a longing for love and fierce loyalty that just about throws him when old connections resurface in this book. He's ably supported by a surrounding cast of returning, and sometimes new characters. Elizabeth Reigns is back again in HELLDIVER, albeit a little later in the action, but as always she's up to the same level of resolve and commitment as Morgan ever is. As you'd expect in this style of book, there's a lot of concentration on the central protagonist, but not, in a way that dismisses or caricatures those surrounding him. His female characters in particular are in there for their abilities, and their contribution - not as eye candy or merely decorative.
The strength of this series really is the all-roundedness of it. They are spy / action / hero thrillers with one bloke to save the world against big, believable and chilling threats. Our hero is brave, strong, true, loyal and good. He's also ruthless and vulnerable, and, you'd imagine, likely to groan just a little as he rises from his chair, dusts himself down, shakes out the back and strengthens the resolve to head out, yet again, and save the world.
Has Alex Morgan finally met his match?
A ghost from the past, an omnipotent billionaire, loyalty tested to the limit and all roads lead to RENEGADE. Morgan commits to the toughest mission of his career and his chances of survival are slim at best. Trust has become little more than a commodity to be bought and sold and old friends re-emerge as the very heart of INTREPID faces destruction.
General Davenport sends Alex Morgan deep into the shadows of the post Cold War European underworld to stare fear in the face, unseat an oligarch, and bring a spy in from the cold. But Morgan's connection to the target is closer than he could ever have imagined.
Helldiver brings Interpol’s ultra secret, black ops division Intrepid to it’s knees, and it’s up to Alex Morgan and Elizabeth Reigns to wrest their agency back from the brink.