Monday 19 October 2020

SENTINEL by Carl Rackman @CarlRackman #RBRT

4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: it was submitted to Rosie's Book Review Team, of which I am a member, but I'd bought it anyway, as I've very much liked other books by this author.

In A Nutshell: Government conspiracy/sci-fi thriller

This is the sequel to Rackman's Voyager, which I haven't read, but it totally works as a stand-alone; there is enough information about what happened before, without long, tedious explanations.  Could actually be presented as a masterclass in how to do this!

Former pilot Matt Ramprakash is now an aviation expert for M15, and, along with many from other government agencies, etc, awaits assitance from anti-terrorism body Sentinel in taking action on a hijacked plane - but who are the hijackers?  The discovery that his old enemy, the Triumvirate, are involved, leads him to Antarctica, along with Sentinel, his wife - and Mirage, a 'supersoldier' who has been genetically engineered - or has she?

As I was reading this, it occurred to me that Carl Rackman has invented his own genre - seemingly earthbound thrillers that end up being a bit paranormal, without it seeming weird.  Works very well!  The amount of research that has gone into this book is evident; it's highly professional, extremely well-written, and should appeal to anyone who loves an intricate government thriller.  With some alien stuff thrown in.  I read at the end that a third book is planned - I would love to see some of it from the point of view of the Visitors.  The ending was one of the best I have seen for this type of book—the sort that makes you want to open the next instalment immediately.

I felt it could have been edited down a little in places, with less factual detail and fewer conversational exchanges, to tighten up the pace, but that could be just personal preference; it's a smart, intelligent novel of which the author should be most proud.  And I know it's a cliché, but it really would make a fabulous TV series!