All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Killer Intent by Tony Kent

on April 18, 2018

Killer Intent
Tony Kent
Elliott & Thompson Ltd
2018, 496p
Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster AUS

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Britain’s elite security forces seem powerless when an audacious attempt is made to assassinate a former US president in London. This becomes the spark which ignites a chain reaction of explosive events that will see old political sympathies rekindled and personal loyalties betrayed.

Joe Dempsey, a deadly military intelligence officer who witnesses this botched assassination, soon realises that this is just one small part of a complex and dark conspiracy, and only he can stop it. The fallout draws both Dempsey and CNN reporter Sarah Truman into parallel investigations, each compelled to discover the sinister truth behind these violent events. All too quickly they are running out of time as the future of the British government is crumbling. Thrown into these events is Michael Devlin, a Belfast-born criminal barrister with a secret past.

It’s a life or death race against the clock. Dempsey, Devlin and Truman are forced to work in the shadows and call on forgotten loyalties before a lethal showdown presents a devastating finale…

I don’t naturally gravitate towards this sort of story but occasionally it’s good to mix it up with something I don’t normally read and this has some big wraps on it so I decided to give it a go. It’s set in England, beginning at a highly public event featuring not only England’s Prime Minister but both the current and a former President from the United States. Obviously security is complicated and it’s a mix of top British security and the American Secret Service having to work together. Things go horribly wrong with an assassination attempt on a former President, throwing everything into chaos.

From there the story splinters into about four parts – Joe Dempsey works for the British agency DDS – Department of Domestic Security. He’s a former military man, a highly trained and gifted operative who has worked as a sniper or “fixer of problems”, among other things. Dempsey recognises some of the work on the botched assassination attempt as someone from his past, someone he definitely needs to take care of. Sarah Truman is an American journalist living and working in London and she alone holds a key piece of information that could blow a government cover up wide open. Her investigations lead her to Michael Devlin, a criminal barrister from Belfast, making both of them targets. They flee to Michael’s home town for both protection and information, uncovering the kind of conspiracy terrorist plot that could shock the world. And then there’s the enigmatic “Joshua”, a gun for hire who is held fast to his task by the one pulling all the strings.

Terrorism is not something anyone is unfamiliar with these days and it makes a great backdrop for this story although Tony Kent swerves away from the the more commonly portrayed scenarios of the Middle East or Russia. Instead he elects to use ‘The Troubles’ for his story, increasing the tensions again between England and Northern Ireland. It’s made for some aggression as England’s current Prime Minister is seen as ‘soft’ on the IRA-style terrorists, releasing prisoners and mediating, rather than taking a hard uncompromising line that England is not to be trifled with. It’s clear that England has sent a lot of military personnel to Northern Ireland and many have been lost. The event at the beginning of the book is to thank military servers for their sacrifice and emotions are running on high.

I enjoyed this book a lot – it’s very fast paced and at the beginning you wonder where it’s all going but it begins to tie all the threads together in a really compelling way. In the way of action novels, everyone is pretty much amazing – Joe Dempsey is one of the greatest soldiers that Britain has ever produced, matched only by his nemesis and it’s clear the two are heading for a showdown. Sarah is full of courage. She endures some truly physically and mentally exhausting and traumatising events in this book but manages to pull herself together each time and keep going. She’s motivated by the truth and the story and it’s lucky that she falls in with Michael Devlin, who is definitely more than just a barrister who happens to be from Belfast. Michael also has mad skills of course and even better than that, mad connections which enable him to not only acquire the information he seeks but also protection and security, helping keep both Sarah and him alive. The three of them are really entertaining characters with a good dynamic – Sarah and Michael work well together and Joe has the ability to put pieces of a cover up puzzle together at an alarmingly fast rate and insert himself into any situation anywhere in order to take control and help bring everything under order. The cat and mouse game between him and his nemesis/former mentor was really well done and it was sort of surprising to me that I liked that character, even though he was doing some horrible things.

I’m not sure if we’ll see any of these characters again – it could go either way. I’d be happy to read another book featuring any combination of the characters in this one but if not, there’s definitely enough here to give the reader an idea for how things may go in the future for most of the players. This is a super exciting action packed debut that details a lot of things incredibly well (politics, terrorist organisations, conspiracy theories, cover ups, military secrets to name just a few) and I’m definitely going to keep Tony Kent on my radar for the future.


Book #72 of 2018

One response to “Review: Killer Intent by Tony Kent

  1. Linda Topping says:

    I loved reading Killer Intent by Tony Kent
    Three of us took it on holiday, we all loved the
    Constant twists + turns
    Tony’s knowledge of the law + boxing come
    through with the different stories + characters
    I cannot wait for the second book which hopefully will not take the author too long to write
    It is great to find such an exciting new author with such flair and creativity

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