Scottydog has graced us with his presence and another kick ass 5⭐️ review of Rob Sinclair’s Dance With The Enemy. Looks like Scottydog has once again found himself in the doghouse…this time with his sister! Can’t say I blame her, he is definitely an acquired taste and she is related to him! ? #PoorPoorStella! And loving the Buster mention…my gorgeous lab is certainly getting a name for himself! Enough chit chat from me though! Check out Scottydog’s review!
Carl Logan was the perfect agent. A loner. No real friends or family.Trained to deal with any situation with cold efficiency, devoid of emotion. But Logan isn’t the man he used to be, or the asset he once was. Five months ago his life changed forever when he was captured, tortured and left for dead by Youssef Selim, one of the world’s most violent terrorists. When Selim mysteriously reappears in Paris, linked to the kidnapping of America’s Attorney General, Logan smells his chance for revenge. Pursuing his man relentlessly, oblivious to the growing trail of destruction that he leaves in his wake, Logan delves increasingly deep into the web of lies and deceit surrounding the kidnapping. Finally, he comes to learn just what it means to Dance with the Enemy.
Scottydog’s Rating: 5/5
“You’ve done it this time, sunshine! No joke, I could slap you right now!”
Just seconds before this tirade started I had answered my telephone, for no other reason than that it was ringing. I had no idea what had gotten my sister’s knickers in such a twist, but whatever it was I assumed that Newton’s 3rd Law of Emotions must apply somewhere – ‘For every male action there is a female over-reaction.’
“Seriously,” she continued, “you haven’t just crossed the line this time, you’ve taken a run up and HURLED yourself over it!”
“Calm down, for crying out loud,” I said in a tone which was meant to sound patient but actually sounded pretty patronising. “What on earth has got into you?”
“You don’t know? You really don’t know, do you?”
And here’s the thing, CrimeBookJunkies – I genuinely didn’t know. But I did appreciate the suspense and also the change from the norm. Readers of my occasional ramblings on CrimeBookJunkie will know that it’s usually Mrs Scottydog’s wrath which I incur – this time it was my little sister’s. I was as excited as a Labrador glimpsing the leash in his owner’s hand and hearing said owner trill, “Walkies, Buster!” I simply couldn’t wait to find out what I’d done this time! Newton’s first law of childcare states that ‘The damage caused by the child is in direct proportion to the value of the item it should not be touching,’ but I couldn’t remember wee Ellie and I wrecking anything, despite our rampages around my sister’s house.
“That is the LAST time you babysit your niece, you muppet. I can’t believe you’d teach her those things. Have you no idea how impressionable they are at that age?”
I would like to say that a feeling of guilt and unease slowly formed in the pit of my stomach as light dawned and I began to get an inkling of just how badly I’d messed up. In a situation like this most normal people would start to feel the first kindling of guilt and shame . . . but I’m not most normal people.
“You know how much Ellie adores you, and she’ll copy anything you do or say. We’ve tried really hard with her, and in the space of one afternoon with YOU it’s all gone to shit!”
Yep, my suspicions were correct. I knew exactly what my wee sis was on about. I emitted a small snort, and I bit the back of my hand in an attempt to stop the snort becoming a full belly-laugh. In my defence, as a bloke who has reached the ripe old age of 42 without kids, I see it as my role in my niece’s life to be the cool uncle who turns up every once in a while and has outrageous fun and adventures with her, with no more than a sideways glance at concepts such as responsibility, health and safety, conscience or common sense.
I have to admit, I was well and truly guilty of the heinous crime my sister was about to charge me with. Whilst my sis and her husband were buying mountains of plastic crap at Ikea the previous weekend, I was given charge of their first born. Between trips to the local petting farm and a short ride on my motorcycle that my sister still knows absolutely nothing about, I decided that my only niece and heiress to my throne should expand her vocabulary and learn some alternative, and possibly funny, words to everyday things. I imagined the hilarity that would ensue when she used the words in company, and how impressed my sister would be that her 3 year old was using her grey matter to come up with fun alternatives to everyday words. After a while I convinced wee Ellie that a doughnut is a ‘roundello,’ a peach is a ‘bum fruit,’ and candy floss is ‘Her Majesty’s Sugar Barnett.’ She struggled with that one, but she excelled with animal names such as a fox being a ‘bin dog,’ a rabbit being a ‘hop floof,’ and a robin red breast being a ‘Christmas pigeon.’
“Can you explain to me,” continued my sister, with the anger rising in her voice with every word, “why my 3 year old daughter has pointed out the window at a squirrel and said, “Look, mummy – a nut bastard!””
As I remember it, at that point I was rolling on the floor, bellowing laughter with the phone clutched to my stomach.
“It’s not funny, you twat!” she shouted. “We were in the bloody doctor’s waiting room at the time!”
Two weeks and one black eye later, I suppose I can begrudgingly admit that I see why my sister was slightly miffed. I kind of know why my sister hates me right now, and why Mrs Scottydog sided with her before I’d even had a chance to explain my side of things. I admit it, I hold my hands up – I just did it. I didn’t stop for a second to think about, to think about the consequences or to think about whether or not I should. I just went ahead and did it. Hey ho. Yet another hole well and truly dug for myself.
And how do this week’s inane ramblings relate in anyway to my review of Rob Sinclair’s ‘Dance With The Enemy?’ Come on, CrimeBookJunkies . . . we know each other well enough by now.
Noelle contacted me with yet another promise that this one was, quote, “Eeeeek – Right up your street!”
“Alright,” I replied, “I’ll review it, as long as the main character isn’t a bloody DI or DCI mincing round the country doing things that DCIs would never do.”
“No he isn’t. At least, I don’t think he is. What is it with you and books with DCIs and DIs?“
“Never mind. I’ll do it, but I have loads on right now, so I can’t guarantee when it’ll get done.”
“No problem, Scotty boy,” Noelle said. “Rob knows we both have loads on right now. Just give me a shout when you’ve read it.”
And just like that, I agreed. Without a second’s thought as to whether or not I should be doing it. And the reason I make that point is this: I genuinely have loads on, what with a stupidly busy career which is currently suffering from the effects of Cameron’s massive budget cuts, the never ending improvements to Casa de Scottydog, and a ‘to be read and reviewed for Noelle’ pile on my bed-side table which grows higher by the day.
So I kind of hoped that ‘Dance With The Enemy’ would be an OK sort of book that I could read in a week and would allow me to come up with a reasonable review in an hour or so, and then I could get back to the painting – after all, Mrs Scottydog’s patience is wearing very thin when it comes to her unfinished house, and she’s only just forgiven for me for what happened before my last CBJ review.
No such luck. I’ve discovered yet another brilliant new author that I’d not met before. I’ve added another name to my ‘favourite authors’ list, and another new protagonist I wish was a real person so I could sit down with him, have a beer and hear about more adventures and dangerous exploits. Right now the painting can wait – CrimeBookJunkies, I give you the awesome Rob Sinclair and his superb character, Carl Logan.
Carl Logan is a field agent for a secret intelligence agency, and is described in ‘Dance With The Enemy’ as ‘somewhere between a classic spy and a private investigator,’ someone whose ‘skill was in doing whatever it takes to get the job done, whatever the job may be.’ The job in this case is a search and rescue mission. The US Attorney General is kidnapped during a daring and quite audacious assault on his armoured motorcade on the busy streets of Paris. Logan is charged with finding out who took the AG, and returning him to safety. And if a few of the bad guys meet with a violent end during that quest, well, we all have to face the consequences of our own actions, don’t we? Whether that’s kidnapping the Attorney General, or simply pissing off your sister.
Carl Logan has turned out to be another terrific character in the action / thriller / crime genre. But what I like about this guy is not so much his character, but the potential for the character. When we first meet Logan he is in Las Vegas on leave, recuperating from a horrific experience which took him away from operational duty for a while. During our first meeting Logan is in a bar, quite drunk and about to tangle with some thick-set red-necks who are spoiling for a fight. Now fans of the genre know exactly what Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer or James Bond would do . . . in fact, what anyone with the initials ‘JB’ would do. Jack Breacher? OK, maybe not. So I was getting ready to read about Logan going all ‘krav maga’ on their asses but instead . . . they handed Logan his own ass on plate, sending Logan back to the UK, and back to work, looking like a bag of bruised fruit.
After this little incident, and bearing in mind Sinclair had hinted at Logan’s recuperation from an unknown trauma, both Logan and avid reader are left pondering the same question: in a genre where good traditionally triumphs over evil and order is restored to the galaxy, how will Logan handle a situation which brings him toe to toe with the bad guys? And not just any bad guy, but a skilled and dangerous adversary?
The question is answered when Logan, unarmed, faces three baddies who are armed with a shotgun, a machete and Logan’s own handgun. Let’s just say that Logan didn’t disappoint. Well played, Mr Sinclair, well played. We have another class act protagonist in our midst, one I came to like almost immediately, particularly when Logan tells his boss, “This is all weak ass piss.” Damn, I wish I could speak to my boss like that and get away with it. It’s also refreshing to hear that Logan was never in the army, he suffers from hay fever (seriously) but could still give Chuck Norris a run for his money. OK, maybe that’s going a bit far – no one could ever give Chuck Norris a run for his money, but if anyone was going to come remotely close, it would be Logan.
Frequent fliers who are collecting air-miles and loyalty points with CrimeBookJunkie Airlines will know that when I do a review I don’t just like to read the book and give an opinion. I like to know a little about the author as well. So I’ll check out the customer reviews on Amazon. I’ll do a bit of Googling and some quiet Facebook stalking. I’ll even break in, go through the underwear drawer and then sit at the edge of the bed and just watch the author sleep. Yes, frequent fliers, that is the length we at CrimeBookJunkie Airlines go to ensure our passengers have the best possible journey. And our safety record is second to none.
On Rob Sinclair’s own website, the author says: One thing that is clear; I wanted to write a fast-paced, action-based thriller. That’s just who I am. It’s the types of books that I’ve read and loved my whole life and also the type of TV and film that I watch. I’ve often pondered that my chronically short attention-span is one of the reasons I find writing and coming up with plots quite natural, but it’s also the reason I write in the style I do. I like a book that grips me immediately and that sends me on a white knuckle roller coaster ride until it’s over with.
But I wanted Carl Logan to stand out above his peers too.
On one level he certainly fits the mould of a traditional action hero – he’s tough, dogmatic and he has a brutal and ruthless side to him when necessary. With Logan though, I wanted him to be more than that, more than just a one-dimensional and indestructible tough guy. I wanted him to be vulnerable too. Now we’ve all read plenty of stories of the washed up hero or heroin, the alcoholic or the divorcee or the widow. I wanted Logan to be even more extreme than that. I wanted to strip him right down and leave him challenging his very existence.
In the end we see Logan as this highly trained warrior, entirely fearless out in the field, but someone who, following a recent trauma, in many ways has the emotional maturity of a child. And that was really where I got a lot of excitement in writing Logan. That side of him that’s challenging who he is and struggling to come to terms with how it feels to be a normal human being rather than the robotic operative which was all he’d previously known his entire adult life.
Couldn’t have put is better myself, CrimeBookJunkies. Amazon says Sinclair has been likened to Lee Child and Vince Flynn – two of my all time favourites and heroes. A quick scroll down the sidebar showed that people who had bought Rob’s books also bought books by my other favourites, Tom Wood (I worship this guy), Mark Dawson, Stephen Leather and Chris Ryan. I kind of regret not getting stuck into a Rob Sinclair novel sooner.
The story and plot are great, as is Logan’s interaction with the beautiful female FBI agent, Grainger. I don’t like to give spoilers with my reviews, CBJs, so I’ll just say this – and ask that you trust me here – the baddies aren’t what you thought they were initially, and neither are their motives . . . and the twist with Grainger is just sublime.
So did I like this book? Well, here’s the thing – I was halfway through a Stephen King book when Noelle gave me a gentle nudge and said, “Don’t forget about Rob Sinclair – he’s waiting for a review.” I’d never heard of this guy, and had totally forgotten that he had supplied us with copies of his books to review. I opened up my Kindle, found his books, and started to flick through the first few pages of Dance With The Enemy . . .
. . . and found myself still reading at midnight, 6 hours after turning on my Kindle. You little scallywag, Rob, you snuck up on me and totally blind-sided me with that one. Shame on you.
But kudos for a simply superb action thriller, and a utterly brilliant and compelling hero, Carl Logan, on the same level as Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, Jason Bourne and, my all time favourite, Victor the Assassin.
Published June 2014, Dance With The Enemy is the first in the Enemy series, followed by Rise Of The Enemy, and the series closing with Hunt For The Enemy.
But get this – as I lay in bed with my cat purring on my legs, and Mrs Scottydog ignoring me for a reason I’m sure I’ll discover in a few days time, Dance With The Enemy is on Amazon to download for 98p. No joke – 98 pence. Rise Of The Enemy is 99p, and Hunt For The Enemy, £2.29. That’s a grand total of £4.26.
Let me put it another way. A Big Mac Meal, gone large, is £4.59.
The motorcycle magazine I buy every month – £4.50.
The incredible film ‘Fury’ staring Brad Pitt is currently on Amazon for £4.67.
So the question is this – if these superb books are almost being given away on Amazon for these prices, why the hell wouldn’t you spend a few of your Earth pounds and add them to your collection? (And if you don’t buy them, it also means that you don’t support our troops).
The only reason I can think of NOT downloading Rob’s books is the same one that makes me think ‘Damn, I just didn’t even think whether or not I SHOULD review the book when Noelle asked me to . . . I just agreed without thinking.’ Just like I didn’t stop for a second to consider whether or not I should ‘help’ my sister and try to increase my niece’s vocabulary, thereby giving her a much better chance in later life. The problem is this: my ‘to be read’ pile grows by the day, and my ‘to review for CrimeBookJunkie’ grows by the week. And Newtons Third Law of book reviewing clearly states that ‘the size of a reviewer’s ‘to be read and reviewed’ pile is in direct proportion to the diminishing free time that said reviewer has.’
So it’s my fault that I have discovered yet ANOTHER talented and entertaining author to stalk. And now I’ve found Sinclair and his Logan books, it just isn’t enough to write a quick review during which I extol the virtues of Carl Logan and Rob’s writing. Rob is now on my favourite author’s list. His website is on the favourites bar on my lap top. His new book will be added to my Amazon wish list, and I’ll soon start thinking of him the same way I think about Tom Wood and Lee Child . . . and that is “WRITE MORE DAMN BOOKS, ROB, AS I CANT WAIT!”
WOW! High praise indeed from Scottydog and I have definitely now bumped this series even further up my TBR pile. First Claire and now Scottydog ~ the purpose of Guest Reviewers was to reduce my TBR….seems that plan is not working out so well for me! So #bookjunkies…head over to amazon/click the link below and take my #CBJCrew’s advice…download this book!
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