by Andy McNab (Penguin) ISBN: 978-0-5930-7378-0
Andy McNab is a retired, highly decorated British soldier and a best-selling author. Detonator is his 17th thriller starring gun-for-hire Nick Stone.
Stone takes on a protection assignment, but the mission changes to one of vengeance after a murder and an attempt on his life. He traverses Europe with his charge, dodging hitmen and militia who are pursuing him for reasons unclear to him – and frankly, to me. I didn’t understand the plot of this story or what Stone was trying to achieve and why. I gathered the Italian mafia was involved, as was Russian President Putin, and IS terrorists.
Detonator is written in the first-person and dialogue is limited (the first exchange only happens 11 chapters in on page 70). First-person writing provides an intimate perspective on Stone because we are privy to his thoughts throughout. We become familiar with his dry Brit humour, ex-special forces skills set, semi-psychopathic personality, and penchant for profanity. His thoughts, words, and deeds also reveal his vulnerabilities and humanity, and his wry descriptions and observations are amusing and illuminating.
I like him. But 300-odd pages of first-person writing is exhausting, particularly when the plot gets lost because there’s limited dialogue to advance it.