The Watchman by Adrian Magson

The Watchman by Adrian Magson

He’s a professional shadow. A watcher who provides protection in potentially hostile situations. He works in the background, stays off the record. Often the people he’s guarding have no idea he’s there. Some people know him as Portman.

When two British intelligence agents are despatched to negotiate the release of a group of western hostages in Somalia, veteran MI6 operator Tom Vane realizes that something about this operation doesn’t stack up. Unwilling to see two promising officers sacrificed in what he believes to be a suicide mission, he covertly hires deep cover specialist Marc Portman to protect them.

Heading for the wild, lawless land on the Kenyan/Somali border, Portman soon realizes that the British Intelligence Services have been double-crossed. Can he survive long enough to keep his charges alive and prevent a catastrophe?

Distant, magnetic, determined and deadly – words I’d use to describe Adrian Magson’s new lead Marc Portman, a watcher supreme, a dark shadow. There’s nothing like reading a brand new action series, embarking on an unexpected adventure, anticipation at fever pitch hoping it’ll take you somewhere magical. Perhaps a slightly melodramatic description but that’s how I felt when I began reading this book, a book I had no trouble in reading in just one day. For me this is, and was, the kind of book you just can’t put down and finally end up finishing at 3am!

Portman – or Mr Marc – is a character who is a secret, no one knows who he is, he’s reserved, knows what he needs to do but is someone who’s ability is such that he can adapt to almost every situation. I really enjoyed how Magson teases us with his backstory, offering snippets of information every now and then and as the book continues his personality slowly unravels. The pace is just right. Little by little we begin to understand what makes him tick, but I never once felt we discovered everything about the watchman. I’m positive there’s a lot more to come, one of the reasons I’m so excited about this series.

For the most part the story is quite insular as we follow Portman’s exploits entrenched on the Somali/Kenyan border. With our protagonist digging in for the duration, hoping to avoid the deadly snakes, wildlife and equally dangerous pirates, you’d be excused in thinking that there’s very little room for growth. Insanely atmospheric I felt as if I was in the hole with Portman, watching, waiting and learning. I really did lose myself in this story and can’t wait for his next adventure!

Both plot and characterisation are impressive, this is after all all about building a solid foundation for future exploits. Like any story there are characters you aren’t supposed to like and characters you have a certain affinity. The Watchman is no exception.

A well thought out and well written novel, a fluid narrative that just begs to be read. I for one can’t wait to see where the author takes his new hero. Bravo Mr Magson, you’ve found a gem in Mr Marc.

  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication edition (30 Jan 2014)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727883704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727883704
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