- Author: Rob Sinclair
- Published: April 2017 by Bloodhound Books
- Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
Carl Logan dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the Joint Intelligence Agency. Now living in a secret location, under the new identify of James Ryker, he wants nothing more than to be left alone, the chance to start a new life away from chaos, violence, destruction and deceit.
James Ryker may have relaxed slightly after twelve months of living in a secret location with Lisa, his girlfriend, since leaving behind the violent life of a secret agent. But fate, in the guise of Peter Winter his ex-boss, was having none of it. He wants Ryker to look into the unexplained murder of Kim Walker. Her fingerprints match those of someone from Ryker’s past who has supposedly been dead for years. The female assassin known as the Red Cobra. Anna Abayev. His former lover and adversary.
The Joint Intelligence Agency computer systems have been compromised, accessed to find information on the Red Cobra and, at the same time, jeopardising agents’ identities. And now she had been murdered. However, when Ryker sees the images of the murdered woman he’s certain she was not the Red Cobra. Although he’s enjoyed the isolated living with Lisa, Ryker feels the urge for some action and the Red Cobra is the hook that makes him agree to help Winter. He gets more than he bargained for though, when the trail puts him in the path of mobsters and double dealers. Once again he becomes a target, not knowing who he can trust.
Ryker knew what she was thinking but he didn’t try to defend himself. He saw no point. What had happened between him and the Red Cobra was in a different life. ‘You could come with me.’
Lisa smiled. ’No. This, here, is my life now With you. Angela Grainger, FBI agent, is dead. She was killed in a shootout in a car park in Beijing. Remember?’
‘I remember. Carl Logan, English spy, was killed out there too.’
Starting as it means to go on, this is an exciting, tightly plotted, sometimes gruesome story with plenty of action, the chapters short and punchy. The Red Cobra’s backstory, and her history with Carl Logan, is interspersed through the narrative. This insight makes her more of a sympathetic character and even though she’s an assassin I could understand how the events she suffered set her on that path. Left, at not quite fourteen years old, by her father in the ‘care’ of the lecherous Colonel Kankava, working as a maid, Eva eventually manages to escape after taking her revenge. Her childhood well and truly over, she will never be quite the same again.
I really enjoyed the novelty of the main protagonist assuming another persona as the story continues on an altogether other level. Ryker’s character has developed and continues to do so. He’s his own man, still complex and vulnerable, but with a personal moral code. Perhaps not quite as physically tough, as he finds out to his cost, but a better more rounded person. Characterisations are excellent, showing flaws and weaknesses that make them all them more believable.
I chose to read and review The Red Cobra for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on an advance reader copy from the author.
About Rob Sinclair
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan, with over 200,000 copies sold to date. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob’s fourth book, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story, and became an Amazon UK top 50 bestseller soon after its release.
Rob’s forthcoming James Ryker series follows on from the Enemy books, with the first novel, The Red Cobra, being released in April 2017.