An up-to-date fast-paced thriller from the reliable pen of Michael Parker, A Covert War starts with the words of David Ellis, relating his firsthand experience of a massacre in Afghanistan. These words were written in a notebook now in the possession of his sister, Susan. The mysterious Sir Giles Cavendish gave her the book as possible proof that her brother was alive, though missing.
So begins Susan's quest to find her brother. She recruits a private investigator, Marcus Blake. Apparently, David was a journalist and worked for the organisation called The Chapter; they ran a mission in the Afghan mountains. Yet there's more to The Chapter than this - much more... And Cavendish is more than he seems.
Marcus has a friend from university days - Maggot, from northern Pakistan - and they train in martial arts together. This training proves useful as Marcus begins to uncover odd connections that lead him to a US base in the UK and high echelon contacts in the government.
As the danger mounts, it seems that the only way they'll be able to free David is to travel to one of the most dangerous spots on earth, Afghanistan. Here, David is being used as a pawn and bargaining chip, with his very life as the stake.
And while some villains are American servicemen and rogue CIA operatives, others are hidden, awaiting their moment of betrayal.
There is a strong sense of foreboding as the pages turn, leading on to an inevitable and bloody confrontation. The tension mounts as friend and foe seek to silence their enemies. A satisfying quick read.
This is not the first Parker thriller I've read and, based on this outing, it won't be the last.