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An enjoyable, but mindless thrill, with political and social undercurrents
on 28 November 2016
Camp Bastion: SAS trooper Tom Buckingham finds himself in deep trouble for taking down a renegade Afghan soldier. Instead of being proclaimed a hero, he's made a scapegoat for the incident and is drummed out of the regiment. Back in Britain extremist freedom fighters returning from Syria are causing civil unrest. Or maybe they're not? Perhaps there is another, bigger agenda? Tom is recruited by Invicta and becomes mixed up with those trying to bring control back to British streets. Is Invicta helping injured servicemen or is there more to them than meets the eye?
From the summary above, you can see that these topics are taken from things that dominate today's headlines. Its this sense of, this could possibly happen, which makes Fortress an interesting novel. The book itself starts off slowly but it soon develops into a page turner, about half way in. One of the reasons for this is that McNab writes in a certain style. The chapters are short and written from differing points of view. For me, this doesn't stop the flow of the story. It provides alternative points of view and there is always a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter. The reader is always left always wanting to read, "one more chapter".
I'm reading the Tom Buckingham novels in reverse order. Not a conscious choice. More about the order I got access to the books themselves. So, I can say that the more I'm reading the more they're making sense!
The various political aspects and mind games in the book offset the moment by moment action. The guns, knives, hand-to-hand combat and explosions. This means that the body count in Fortress isn't high. The blood doesn't flow as much as some of McNab's novels. That's not to say that there isn't a fair amount of carnage!
The book leaves quite a few loose ending hanging. But its all wound up nicely in the next installment in the series, 'State of Emergency'