There's a great review of Shadow Force in City AM today.
IT doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a book called Shadow Force – the first in a series that tracks a pack of mercenaries around the world – is not going to have much of a feminine touch. Well, journalist Matt Lynn has gone the full distance and got women out of the picture entirely. His cast of the characters at the beginning reads like a who’s who of an angry teenage boy’s warfare fantasy. There’s Steve, formerly of the SAS; Ollie, once of the Household Cavalry; David, of the Irish Guards; Nick from the Territorial Army, and so on. There’s a weapons glossary at the end, too. Well, fair enough. The kinds of men who will be reading this book won’t be sinking their teeth into it for its nuance – or for the now-popular genre of the female warrior (thank you, Lisbeth Salander). This is 100 per cent men doing, what Lynn seems to insist, is “man’s work”.
And perhaps it is. There’s an an undercover operation; a top secret unit, and possibly a death sentence for all concerned. Why? Well, Somali-based pirates are attacking ships off the coast of Africa, demanding millions in ransoms and pushing up the cost of shipping along this crucial route. The elite “fighting men” from Death Inc – the British government’s top-secret force – are called upon to destroy the pirates. Only once there, they realise they’re the target of a deadly conspiracy and their lives are the only thing that are expendable about the mission. Lynn is being tipped as the next Andy McNab and there’s no doubt he can spin a good, violent yarn with the right amount of real-life political darkness thrown in. Certainly a good read.