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Book Review: Sentinel by Matthew Dunn

Posted By Blackfive • [August 09, 2012]

The following book review is a special provided by Elise Cooper for BlackFive readers.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category or click here:

SentinelMatthew Dunn, a former MI6 operative has written another book in the Will Cochrane series.  Sentinel, just released, allows the readers to experience what it is really like to work in the intelligence field.  Dunn draws upon his past to create a spellbinding, realistic novel.

Following up on his first book, Spycatcher, Dunn has written a plot filled with drama, suspense, and many twists. Sentinel, has as its backdrop the realities of the problems left behind at the end of the Cold War.

Sentinel begins with the main character, Will Cochrane, a MI6 officer, being dropped into Russia to find a fellow agent who has been working deep cover for a number of years, code named Sentinel.  They team up to find a ruthless Russian Colonel, code named, Razin, who had been murdering valuable double agents.  Beyond this, it is discovered that Razin is trying to start a war between Russia and America for his own benefit.  He plans on detonating bombs to make it look like a US submarine strike. Cochrane must outwit and outsmart Razin before his plan sets off catastrophic results.  Dunn told BlackFive, “The stories are fictitious and come from my own imagination but the way they are approached in terms of the problem and issues is the realistic world of espionage.”

He shows that the antagonist, although highly evil, is very articulate, extremely professional, competent, devious, ruthless, and clever.  On the other hand Will is displayed as a loner, someone extremely loyal and honorable who sees himself as his countrymen’s protector.  He delves into Will’s isolation and the need to cut ties to avoid problems, which were brought about by the brutal murder of his mother.  Dunn stated, “He fears that bringing people into his life and allowing himself to get close to them causes too many dangers.”

Dunn explained that although the Cold War is over he wanted to point out that the perception that Russia is no longer a threat is wrong.  In his novels he says the evil is human based, not state based, since humans make the decisions of the country.  Sentinel is set in Russia because of its size and vastness, as well as the fact that this country can be considered a sleeping giant, and has a highly intelligent military.

He gave a heads up about book three whose working title is Slingshot.  In this novel he has Will further exploring the reason behind his loneliness and isolation and how it is beginning to affect him professionally and personally.  The plot involves an East German assassin, a former intelligence officer, who is hired to kill anyone who reveals the secret drawn up by a pact in 1995 Berlin.  In this book he will explore the cat and mouse game of espionage, and is hoping to show the many different facets of being a spy.

Sentinel is a fast paced and riveting book with pure action and intrigue.  The many twists and turns makes for a very interesting and captivating book.  The realistic backdrop drawn from his experience as an operative makes for a very powerful story.


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