‘HIS LAST MISSION
OUR ONLY HOPE’
Today I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Break Line, Book One in the Max McLean Series from James Brabazon.
Published on 24th January with Penguin Books The Break Line is described as ‘a debut dripping with authenticity and menace. Smart, unputdownable and packed with irresistible set pieces and jaw-dropping plot twists, this is a thriller like no other.’
This is one book that sent my imagination into overdrive. Read on to see why…
[ About the Book ]
Officially, Max McLean doesn’t exist. The British government denies all knowledge of the work he does on their behalf to keep us safe. But Max and his masters are losing faith in each other. And they give him one last chance to prove he’s still their man.
Sent to a military research facility to meet a former comrade-in-arms, Max finds the bravest man he ever knew locked up for his own protection. His friend lost his mind during an operation in West Africa. The reason? Absolute mortal terror.
Max is determined to find out why.
Ahead lies a perilous, breathtaking mission into the unknown that will call into question everything that Max once believed in.
Acting alone, without back-up, Max lands in Sierra Leone with his friend’s last words ringing in his ears: ‘They’re coming, Max. They’re coming . . .’
[ My Review ]
Max McLean is a phantom operative, working in the shadows and slipping through borders unknown. Max is a trained assassin, working for the British government, something they will never acknowledge. Max was selected from a young age and transformed into this killer, a man with no compulsion in pulling a trigger, following orders and walking away. But Max challenges an order on one such mission and is recalled back to the UK to answer to his bosses. This one time he did not pull the trigger. This could be the moment where he has exposed his identity and is no longer of any use to his employers.
Max is given one last chance to redeem himself with a job that will take him into the deepest corners of Africa, into the jungle of Sierra Leone. Before he travels he is instructed to visit an old buddy, a man that Max revered almost, a man he admired. This man is now locked up in an institution for his own safety and for the safety of others. He is deluded. He has lost his mind. He is in abject terror of something or someone after returning a broken man from a recent trip to Africa. Max sees the fear in his friend’s eyes, the fear in his voice as he rasps ‘They’re coming Max, they’re coming…’ It is now the responsibility of Max to figure out what his friend is so afraid of and to go on an extremely dangerous mission into the heart of West Africa, a mission he is all too well aware of that he may not return from.
Max McLean is a man with a past, a past he keeps close to his chest but one that had a huge impact on his formative years. Growing up in Ireland, Max’s parents were certainly not typical of Irish parents at the time and circumstances led him to where he finds himself now…a killer, a murderer, a man with no ties, a man forever roaming the continents, fulfilling the instructions of others.
On arrival in West Africa, Max becomes acquainted with his appointed contact and sets about unearthing the truth behind his friend’s terror. As the days pass and the secrets slowly reveal themselves, Max is soon all too aware of the dangerous position he now finds himself in.
James Brabazon writes from experience, exposing a world of horror to his readers. The descriptions are vivid…very vivid, as the stench of death rises off the pages. I’m not going to lie to you folks, you do not want to be eating your dinner during some scenes as the imagery is quite gruesome with some very violent and vile scenes. This is also quite a technical novel with descriptions of the weapons etc, at times, very intricate. It is clearly obvious that James Brabazon knows what he writes about. With his experience of being on the front-line, he brings all his knowledge to the table and, with his own flair, takes us on a hair-raising journey into the depths of the West African jungle. We are plunged into a page-turning race to the end as Max McLean fights for his survival with incredible strength, fortitude and bravery. Max McLean has to conquer many demons on this nightmarish mission as we join him in this frightening thriller involving the CIA, MI6, SAS and of course the Russians.
The Break Line is a fast-paced and completely engrossing, turbulent tale of one man’s heroic actions and his enduring belief that everything he does is for a greater good.
Purchase Link ~ The Break Line
[ Bio ]
James Brabazon is an author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Based in the UK, he has traveled to more than seventy countries, investigating, filming, and directing in the world’s most hostile environments.
He lectures on the ethics and practicalities of reporting in war zones.
The Break Line is his first novel.
Twitter ~ @james_brabazon