Review of “The Englishman” by David Gilman

Hello readers, been some time since I last did a review. Been a busy bee lately. Fortunately, I finished reading this during the week. It is a fast paced unrelenting action thriller, that quite simply never stops. The first few chapters can be somewhat confusing but stick with it.

It brings you from a clandestine war in the depths of Africa to a kidnapping in London and taking on the Russian Mafia (a fearsome and loathsome lot). The main character Raglan is a man of steely determination, of good character and intelligence from The French Foreign Legion. It is a world of lies and deceit, but also of loyalty and honour. He is the Englishman by which the novel gets its name.

Raglans quest for answers ultimately becomes a quest for revenge that brings you to the hell that is a Siberian prison. It comes across as utterly beautiful, but truly terrifying as he finds himself surrounded by monsters in freezing conditions.

The action scenes are exquisitely described, no detail is too small whether its the intricacies of hand to hand combat to what kind of gun is being used. The violence and the scenes of torture are vivid. At its best, you feel right in the heart of the action. It’s a long read though, going from one scene to the next and the character development is sparse. I was never particularly worried that a character may die. The only other notable character is a Moscow agent The sex scenes are good but there is little else from her. This is perhaps where the novel could have been improved.

This novel gets four stars out of five for me. If you like the darker James Bonds films, you’ll probably love this. Actually, it would make a great film. However, if violence and torture is not your thing, then this might not be for you.

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