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Monday, February 18, 2019

#ATBR2018 Review: The Break Line by James Brabazon @berkleypub @james_brabazon

The Break Line
by James Brabazon

Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: January 29, 2019
368 Pages
Series: Max McLean #1
Genres: Thriller, Mystery

British intelligence operative and hardened assassin, Max McLean, battles a nightmarish enemy in this stunning debut thriller from an award winning war correspondent. 

When it comes to killing terrorists British intelligence has always had one man they could rely on, Max McLean. As an assassin, he's never missed, but Max has made one miscalculation and now he has to pay the price.

His handlers send him to Sierra Leone on a seemingly one-way mission. What he finds is a horror from beyond his nightmares. Rebel forces are loose in the jungle and someone or something is slaughtering innocent villagers. It's his job to root out the monster behind these abominations, but he soon discovers that London may consider him the most disposable piece in this operation.

My Review:

The first in a series, Brabazon brings a LOT to the table.  Action packed from beginning to end, each new decisions McLean makes throws him into a different trajectory.  The first decision he made, when he went against orders, was not like him but even as a hardened assassin, he finds it difficult to kill those that are innocent. This may not end well for him. 😉

A lot of characters are introduced and he finds betrayals amongst them and within himself.  We also get a tangle of a medical thriller with speak of cholera, etc.  What else can Brabazon include?!  It's not overly done, which is nice.  He does a fine job in building McLean's character and as with all first in a series, lays the groundwork for the next.  McLean is reminiscent of other characters like him - highly intelligent, master of his trade, and whether you like his actions or not, you get a soft spot for him.

While this type of thriller is not my favorite kind in the subgenres of thrillers, I did find the story interesting while with so much going on, there were some lulls within the pages... but very little - small set ups for the next bullet to dodge. (see what I did there?)

A great start to the beginning of a series I can only see getting crazier. 


Jessica's Review:

If you've followed my blog or reviews at all you'll know that I'm a fan of the espionage thrillers. Throw in the assassins, secret government agencies, or international intrigue any day! THE BREAK LINE by James Brabazon is the first in a new and exciting series. We're introduced to Max McLean - the kind of assassin that has some morals. Of course, these morals get him into some hot water. 

I think that Brabazon packed a ton into this first book for us. Not necessarily a bad thing though. I think a lot is being set up now for future installments and I'll be curious to see where those lead. McLean is a character I really enjoyed getting to know and can't wait to see how his story progresses and grows. 

If you're also a fan of the assassin thrillers and the cat-and-mouse games against the government or other entities, then this is perfect for you! Like I mentioned, this is the beginning of a new series and I'll definitely be picking up book two to see where Brabazon is going to take things. 

3.5/5 stars

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