Readers of Chris Ryan thrillers know exactly what to expect: gritty, pared-down prose with regular doses of bone-crunching action and a hero not usually given to introspection. His books do not inhabit the same atmospheric world as such thriller writers of the past as Graham Greene
and Eric Ambler
, and he lacks the political sophistication of such current writers as Gerald Seymour
. But Ryan knows exactly what his readers want and can always be counted upon to deliver a tough and fast-moving package. And that's very much the case in this latest thriller.
The theme in The Watchman is a duel to the death between an SAS soldier and the man who trained him. Ryan's protagonist, the resourceful Alex Temple, has been recently commissioned from the ranks, and returns from a hostage rescue mission in Sierra Leone to find that someone has been gruesomely murdering MI5 officers, Hannibal Lecter-style (a skinning knife is involved). The security services believe that the killer is an insider, SAS-trained, and Alex is ordered to track him down. As he gets closer and closer to the eponymous Watchman, the body count rises inevitably. This one will glean no literary prizes, but the legion of Ryan fans will devour this as eagerly as they did The Hit List and Zero Option. The villain, too, is a memorably nasty creation. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"First-rate action thriller" (Express
"Pure, unadulterated violence-all part of the myth and mystique of the SAS" (Mirror
"The SAS is to Chris Ryan what horse racing is to Dick Francis - a colourful backdrop of skulduggery, told with a genuine insider information to set it apart from the pack- Warrior class Sherlock Holmes." (Boys Toys
"Fast-paced, sexy, violent" (Sunday Mercury