Title: Rise of the Enemy
Author: Rob Sinclair
Publication Date: 30 April 2015
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Today is my turn on the blog tour for Rise of the Enemy, the follow up to Dance with the Enemy by Rob Sinclair.
Everyone has a breaking point. Carl Logan might have just found his.
The JIA sends intelligence agent Carl Logan on a routine mission to Russia. It should have been simple. But when Logan’s cover is blown, he's transported into a world of hell he thought he would never see again.
Something is different this time, though, and before long doubts begin to surface in Logan's mind as to why the assignment went so wrong.
Logan has never been short of enemies. And sometimes the enemy is closer to home than you think.
Could his own people really have set him up?
Move aside Jason Bourne, there's a new superspy in town!!!
Rise of the Enemy is the follow up book to Rob Sinclair’s 2014 debut, Dance with the Enemy.
I enjoyed Sinclair’s telling of the story, in that it begins half way through the story and progresses by way of a mix of flashbacks and current-day. The plot moves on whilst the reader is still playing catch-up to find out how Logan has come to be there in the first place. The story immediately captured my interest. As the past and current timelines start to intersect, I found myself totally absorbed in the story and simply could not put the book down!
The author’s style of writing provided, for me, the perfect mix between story and description. I found myself able to picture each scene in my mind, as if watching a movie. I found myself absorbed into Logan’s shady world, suspicious of all those who cross his path.
Carl Logan is a tough, experienced agent for the Joint Intelligence Agency (“JIA”) – a cross-border agency. He has endured some horrific bouts of both physical and psychological torture in his recent past and he is now showing signs of being a broken man teetering on the edge. The character of Logan was already well-developed for those who have read the first book, Dance with the Enemy, and he is given some further depth in this second book. He is deeply damaged and traumatised by his experiences, yet he does his best to push aside his personal feelings and remain focused on the mission at stake. Logan is very appealing as a character.
As he remains in captivity, the author allows the reader to have more insight into Logan’s thought processes which, in turn, shows us his strengths and vulnerabilities. After such terrible experiences, he is faced with a complete inability to trust anyone and finds it impossible to tell who are the ‘good guys’ and who are the ‘bad guys’ in the scenario. We experience the inner struggle and confusion that Logan goes through on a daily basis.
The supporting characters – Mary, Chris, Mackie and Lena - are well-written and integral to the story. I particularly liked (or rather liked to hate) the character of Lena, a Russian agent who really relishes her ability to inflict pain on others. Beautiful and alluring as she is to Logan, he can see that there is a truly sadistic side to her personality.
Rise of the Enemy is an action-based spy-thriller. There are various plot twists, unexpected moments and shady characters. It keeps you guessing throughout and never loses momentum. It is fast-paced, thrilling, clever and very entertaining - a must read!
I thoroughly enjoyed Sinclair’s debut novel and I am pleased to say that this follow up book did not disappoint. I love a good thriller and I would highly recommend this book, particularly for those who are fans of authors such as Robert Ludlum.
Of note, although this is a standalone novel, I would recommend that you start the first book in the series as the ending may not have as much impact if you are unfamiliar with that earlier book.
As an exciting addition to this blog tour post, Rob has kindly provided a guest post in which he discusses the importance of research when writing a novel.
The (un)importance of research?
I’ve been very pleased that many of my readers have commented that the Enemy series appears well-researched, both in terms of the subject matter and locations. So just what research did I do for the books?
One of the most oft-quoted writing tips is “write what you know”. To some extent I agree. But only to some extent. I mean, really, how many of us have first-hand experience of being a secret agent, or an elite armed-forces operative, or an assassin, or a serial killer? We just don’t. So a certain amount of our writing, and actually the most crucial parts - the actual damn plot - usually can’t come from writing what we know. I much prefer “write what comes easiest to you”. Or “write what you bloody want to”. The fact is, writing is a very personal experience and we as the writer need to be happy and comfortable with the work, rather than forcing it to fit. So write about secret agents because they excite you, because you’ve read those books and watched those movies your whole life. Make your fictional work exciting and far removed from real life, because that’s the idea of fiction in the first place! That’s what I do.
But back to the point. Research. The fact is, much of the peripheral elements of my stories are things I know. So actually, my research has been minimal. Large parts of my characters - their key traits, the way they think and act, the emotions they feel and how they act in certain situations - comes from me or from people I know or from people I’ve observed. Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously. Locations are a big part of any novel and for each of my books I’ve tried as much as I can to utilise my knowledge of places from my own experience - luckily I’ve been quite well-travelled in the past!
Really, where I’m getting to, is that for me research is the very final element of my writing process.
Many writers do reams of research before even starting to write a book, whether in terms of location or subject matter or whatever, but for me personally, I find that approach backwards. By the time I do research, I’ve already got the plot, the characters, the locations and to a large extent, all of the words laid out. I need research only when I’m stuck on a particular point of fact. My protagonist is on a train from Omsk to Moscow. Ok, well how long do those trains take? What’s the name of the station the train gets into? Usually it’s just the filling in the gaps to what’s already there and much of that research comes ultimately from nothing more than searching on the internet (though I’m always very careful to scrutinise the veracity of what I use!).
And after all, I write fiction. Even when writing about familiar subjects or locations, I tend to throw in elements of fiction anyway - whether it be a street name or the name of a restaurant or something similar. I’m just happier that way, telling the story how it is in my head rather than trying to make it fit reality - if anything I actually think doing that opens the writer up to more potential downfalls. And as I recently heard a very famous author say: If you set it out in black and white and put it down with enough confidence, people will believe you anyway.
Amazon UK: Kindle - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TWR9RVK
Paperback - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1909477850
Hardcover - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1909477893
Amazon US: Kindle - http://amzn.com/B00TWR9RVK
Paperback - http://amzn.com/1909477850
Hardcover - http://amzn.com/190947789
As of today's date, the Kindle editions of both Dance with the Enemy and Rise of the Enemy are currently on sale on Amazon UK for the amazing price of £0.99.
About the Author
His explosive debut, Dance with the Enemy, was published in 2014 and introduced the world to the enigmatic Carl Logan. The second novel in the series, Rise of the Enemy, was released in April 2015.
Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a 'can't put down' thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.
...don't forget to check out the other posts from this mini blog tour, details of which are listed below!