Wednesday, 13 May 2015

RISE OF THE ENEMY by Rob Sinclair

4 out of 5 stars

Espionage thriller

On Amazon UK HERE

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this at first, as espionage thrillers are not a usual reading choice for me, but I liked the cover!  I didn't realise it was a sequel when I first began to read it, but the necessary backstory is provided artfully, in an unobtrusive way, and it works fine as a stand alone.

Carl Logan is an agent working for the JIA, the Joint Intelligence Agency, which employs both US and UK agents.  Rise of The Enemy is based around his capture and escape from the Russians and his realisation that he cannot trust his own people, either.

I wasn't grabbed by the story until it got to the 'three months later' bit of Chapter 4, when, for me, it went up by about ten notches and I became totally absorbed, looking forward to getting back to it when I had to put it down.  The structure of the part in Siberia in which Carl Logan escapes from his Russian captors is one I like: chapters alternating between the present, and flashbacks of an ongoing story that leads up to that present.  I loved reading about Siberia, too; it's clearly been well researched.

The book is very professionally presented, which is always a big plus for me; I don't think I found one proofreading or editing error, which is practically unheard of in a Kindle book, even for the traditionally published.   I read in the Q & A with Rob Sinclair in the back that he loves spy thriller books, films and TV series, and it shows; he's obviously very au fait with the genre, and thus there are a few clichés to be found in this story, but not too many.  

My only problem with this book is that, despite it being extremely well written as a drama, it stopped being so thrilling at around 60%, after which the suspense only made me think 'hmm' instead of 'oh my God, WHAT is going to happen NEXT?'  You know those bits in programmes like 24, when Jack Bauer overcomes four enemies against all odds, in a seemingly hopeless situation?  Carl Logan does this sort of thing, too, but it's all a bit laboured.  Sinclair has painstakingly described every action, down to which hand he jerked into which arm, in such a way that it's just an account, a sequence of events, and not action packed.  Some bits that should have been in-your-face thrilling were actually quite boring; if I had not been reading the book to review I would have skipped them, and just gone to the end of the section to find out who was still alive.  The beginning of the book is written in a very dramatic way.  A suspenseful way.  With short sentences.  To add impact and drama.  And it works, but doesn't carry on throughout the book.  My interest in the plot tailed off towards the end.

To sum up:  A bit less detail, a bit less repetition, a bit more punch, and this book would be excellent.  If this is your favourite genre, I'd definitely recommend it because it's intelligently written, feasible and well thought out.  I suspect, too, that Rob Sinclair's writing will develop positively the more he writes; the talent is obviously there.


  1. So...we both reviewed this on same day and gave same 4-star rating. Great review!

    1. But for different reasons! I've just commented on your review - sorry, I mean your ARTICLE!!! :^D I'm just glad I stuck a couple of pictures on...!!!

  2. Saw this via Twitter first and had a bit of deja Vu after Barb's review, then I got with the flow and dropped in for the correct update. Great points you've both picked out.

    1. Cheers! It's still a good book despite my misgivings; from about 6% - 60% it might have been 5*!! :)