Dance With the Enemy
Carl Logan was the perfect agent. A loner, with no real friends or family, he was trained to deal with any situation with cold efficiency, devoid of emotion. But Logan isn't the man he used to be, or the asset he once was. Five months ago his life changed forever when he was captured, tortured and left for dead by Youssef Selim, one of the world's most violent terrorists. When Selim mysteriously reappears in Paris, linked to the kidnapping of America's Attorney General, Logan smells his chance for revenge. Pursuing his man relentlessly, oblivious to the growing trail of destruction that he leaves in his wake, Logan delves increasingly deep into the web of lies and deceit surrounding the kidnapping. Finally, he comes to learn just what it means to Dance with the Enemy.
I like how Rob Sinclair interacts on Twitter and bought the ebook on the strength of that.
Carl Logan is recovering from a traumatic event that occurred five months previously (we don’t find out until much later what that event was) during his work as an agent for the secret UK-based Joint Intelligence Agency, or JIA. He is called back to work early as his talents are needed to find Frank Modena, the US Attorney General who was abducted after a street shooting in Paris. Not everyone thinks he is ready to return to work, and he wonders this himself as he makes several mistakes in his hunt for Modena. After FBI agent Angela Grainger tries and fails to arrest him they join forces – on and off – to track down the gang responsible for snatching Modena and try to save him.
I enjoyed this book – it is well-written and fast-moving. There are some toe-curlingly explicit passages describing how a prisoner is tortured. I didn’t have as much of a connection with Logan as I normally would like with a protagonist: I liked that he wasn’t perfect and he occasionally needed rescuing himself, but he didn’t act like the top professional we are told he is – he puts civilians in danger to satisfy his need to put his own ghosts to rest (I can understand him wanting to do that, and breaking the rules to do so, but not by putting innocents at risk). I liked the slow reveal of his back-story, with no lengthy info-dumps.
Grainger isn’t written as strongly as she could have been. Again she has human weaknesses, which of course she should have, but she becomes a bit too subservient to Logan, typically taking her lead from him and letting him dominate her.
Mackie, Logan's boss, is great – he got exasperated with Logan, but also looked out for him. I also liked Mackie's assistant, Winter, and it's very good to get away from the cliché of the in-fighting among the bosses (to some extent, at any rate).
I think Rob Sinclair has a good writing career ahead of him. This is a genre that has a lot of great writers and is difficult to break into, but Rob can hold his head high – I suspect he has plenty of inspiration for future books and I’m sure his best is yet to come. I will certainly be reading the next instalment of Carl Logan.
Editorial Input & Design
The story is well-plotted, but could be tightened a little. It was very well and consistently paced. I would probably have suggested that there should be fewer oblique references to the event of “five months previously”. I think also Grainger could be made a little stronger and act a bit more like we would expect from an FBI agent – she was rather too emotional to be wholly believable. It seems quite well copy-edited (although I would have suggested deleting a few over-wordy passages) and proofread.
Cover: Fairly generic, but bold, smart and professional looking.
Internal design: I had no problems reading this on a Kindle.
Book Clubs & Reviews
A bit light to be a suitable book club choice I think. There would be a fair amount to discuss – the horror of being abducted and tortured, secret agents, revenge – but it’s not one that I would recommend to book clubs for an in-depth discussion.
What others are saying: Amazon UK readers give it 4.7 stars (125 reviewers); Amazon US readers give it 4.7 stars (44 reviewers); Goodreads readers give it 4.36 stars (90 ratings).
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