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Rise of the Enemy by Rob Sinclair

Rise of the Enemy” is a good, old-fashioned spy thriller, the second in “The Enemy” series by Rob Sinclair. Sinclair is a forensic accountant living in northeast England.  He was challenged to write this series on a promise to his wife that he could pen thrillers that she could not put down.  I think he’s done it!

The protagonist, Carl Logan, is an experienced special agent working for a joint US-UK agency called the Joint Intelligence Agency sent in to Russia to do some industrial spying.  He and his accomplice are challenged almost immediately by officers from the FSB (formerly the KGB) and Logan is exposed to months of torture and deprivation in a Russian prison before he manages to escape.  It seems the worst of Logan’s enemies are not the Russians but people from within his own organization who would like to see him dead.

Logan is a likeable hero and someone who seems a lot more like the reader than the stereotypical, Bond-like spy.  He is a complex character who gets into an almost impossible situation.  We can especially feel for him when he is given such a raw deal by his own people, even though this theme has been explored by other series (the Bourne titles, Homeland).  It is hard to see how Logan can get out of the fix where he will be hunted down whether he tries to hide in Russia or he goes back to the UK or the USA.  The seemingly impossible situations Logan experiences make this a nail-biter of a thriller.

While the main character is certainly explored in all his complexities, I don’t feel the villains in the novel are given enough development.  They come off a bit one-dimensional.  Perhaps in future titles the author can make more of Logan’s main opponents.

In all, “Rise of the Enemy” is an excellent spy thriller and I look forward to reading more of this series.

(Reviewed from a provided copy.)

Liz Nichols


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