By Matthew Dunn
HarperLuxe: Larger Print Edition, (2011)
Also published under the title Spartan.
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - May 3, 2011
Matthew Dunn's Spycatcher is undoubtedly the best written, most exiting, and original spy thriller of the past decade. It is filled with drama, with twists and turns. Each of his fifty-three chapters has new developments, thrills, suspense, and excitements. Dunn is a former MI6 field officer who conducted seventy-six missions, all successfully. He knows his craft as he demonstrates in his book.
Will Cochrane, the hero, is a seasoned MI6 agent, groomed years back, unbeknownst to him, by MI6 and CIA senior spies. He was tarnished in his youth by two events – the brutal murder of his heroic father after a long period of torture, and the death of his innocent mother. He was hardened, to his surprise, by his swift response against his mother's attackers who, although he was just a boy, he killed. He grew up seeking revenge against his father's murderer and a strong, seemingly opposite feeling of wanting to protect and help the innocent, as he protected his mother.
He served, as a young man, in the harshest segment of the French Foreign Legion and became accustomed to facing and not fearing imminent death. He became proficient is making swift proper responses. Then recruited by MI6, he attended college and became a field agent. Now seasoned, with scars across many body part, the results of knife and bullet wounds, he is indispensible to MI6 and the CIA. Yet he tells his handlers that he follows no man's orders; he does what he thinks is right to accomplish his mission. So far he has succeeded, so while they don't like his independence, they allow it.
The two nations turn to him to save the world. Chatter on the internet reveals that a brilliant highly competent but vicious Iranian maniac intends to inflict catastrophic harm to either the US or Britain. But no one know who the maniac is, where he is, and when, where, how, and why he intends to do it. But he seems to be a highly-placed agent in Iran's secret service. He may be the man who murdered Cochran's father. MI6 is unable to assign agents to help Cochran because they are protecting England's important sites. The CIA gives him four superbly trained men from Delta Forces and Seals, among others. Cochran travels through many countries and meets many people, including a woman who he feels he could marry and finally settle down with. But who can he trust?