Review - No Free Man, Graham Potts
Fast paced, heaps of action, a lot of lurking baddies, a flawed hero and comparisons with the work of Tom Clancy and Matthew Reilly are going to be coming in droves.
NO FREE MAN is the debut thriller from ex-RAAF member Graham Potts, taking it's protagonist, Stepan Volkov straight to the heart of ... well everything it seems. Starting out in a small Australian town, Volkov wasn't expecting to be identified by the most unlikely of people to walk into that pub, right at that time. Connections to Australia are maintained as local agents Hartigan and Singh set off in pursuit of Volkov and the Russian crime syndicate - Organizatsiya that he works for. Along the way there is a lot of action, fights, explosions, shooting, much rushing about and some seriously astounding heroics with a most unlikely array of weapons.
This novel is very much a bigger than reality thriller. The action is absolutely the point and the heroics positively exhausting. There's lots of pace, there's a lot of movement and there seems like an inexhaustible number of threads coming and going. Alas that's possibly where NO FREE MAN is slightly less successful than it could be as it was easy to get a bit lost in all the goings on, names, moves and changes. Certainly this reader spent a bit of time backtracking to work out quite a few of the what / who / wheres and whys.
On the upside the anti-hero nature of the Volkov works well, and really, if you are looking for a novel which is one of those big, over-the-top action based thrillers where they why and the what are considerably less important than the action, NO FREE MAN is going to be just the thing.
Stepan Volkov forfeited his future when he was paid to forget his past.
Forced to adapt, he ultimately became the world's most wanted killer... feared, vicious and brutal.
A tool of the Organizatsiya, a Russian crime syndicate that forged him into 'The Wolf', he's pursued by American spies and Australian agents, torn between his need to survive and his desire to be free.
When a shock encounter in Australia uncovers forgotten secrets and threatens uneasy allegiances, Volkov suddenly sees a choice... one he thought would never be his to make.
With a billion-dollar international oil deal threatening to shift the global balance of power, will Volkov return to Moscow to wage war for the Organizatsiya, or will he find the courage to escape with a vengeful thief whose life he destroyed?