Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Failsafe Query’ by Michael Jenkins organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
‘Some secrets were meant to be buried forever. Until now.’
Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for a British intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. It includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.
The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy. As Sean gets closer to the truth, senior figures are left to nurse their anxiety knowing that if the secret is revealed, it will destroy their lives.
On the verge of success, his eye is taken off the ball, and the Russians step forward ready to pounce.
Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale.
The first in a set of spy thrillers that have been expertly crafted with stunning plot lines, magnificent locations, and twists that leave you gasping for air. Perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Scott Mariani.
This is the first book in the Sean Richardson series, and in what is increasingly becoming a habit, I have already read and reviewed the second book in the series (here).
While, I did enjoy Jenkins’ writing and he knows just how to grab the readers’ attention, and how to build up a world and narrative that is engaging and realistic, I do feel as though there were some pacing issues in this book. Particularly between the first and second halves of the novel, which in places feel almost like they could have been different books and might have worked better if they had been broken up and interwoven throughout the book. That said, I did enjoy the backstory that was built up during the first half of the book and felt that it really added to Sean’s character, and adds essential groundwork for the next book and any future books. That aside, once we hit the second part of the book, the pace picks up, and the plot pulls you completely into the unfolding events and does not let go.
As with the second book, I feel that this book – and perhaps the author’s – greatest strength lies in the sheer plausibility that Jenkins builds into his characters and plots, and the level of detail that shines through the writing that speaks of considerable experience and research. There are some places perhaps where the technical details are a bit too much, but personally, I really enjoy the detail, and the added sense of realism it gives the book and would argue it is very much a strength of Jenkins’ writing.
The Failsafe Query is everything you want a thriller to be, high stakes and lots of twists and turns, that leave you trying to catch your breath, while simultaneously needing to know what happens next. The action was well-done, the suspense kept you on the edge of your seat, with a great main character with Sean Richardson. A very enjoyable read, and definitely one for anyone who enjoys thrillers.
About the Author:
I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.
I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.
The Failsafe Query (Sean Richardson #1) – Michael Jenkins (Published in paperback and digital formats by Failsafe Thrillers on 20th May 2020) – *** (3/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.