Harry Jones, that omnipotent modern hero ready to rush where angels fear to tread and save humanity from itself, is on the move again. This time he, with a band of confederates, has focused his attention on rescuing an old buddy, Zac, from the clutches of a central Asian tinpot dictatorship where he is being held in an impenetrable prison as an unfriendly. Heading the mission to rescue Zac from certain death, Harry is only repaying a debt from years before when his friend saved his wife during a boat accident on the Thames. It doesn't matter that the incident happened twenty years ago, Harry is a man of honor who will do anything humanly possible to return the favour. This story becomes a fascinating journey into a shady world that is extremely backward, dangerous, and corrupt. If that isn't enough, there is serious political opposition coming from those in high places back home who aren't comfortable with the idea of Harry intruding on their private schemes to profit from supporting foreign tyrants. Beside contending with cruel, sadistic prison officials and corrupt national leaders planning to seize government when the time is right, Harry faces a bigger, more ominous system where connection in high places in Britain are prepared to throw him under the bus if that is what it takes to protect their dirty, illegal investments in grubby old Ta'argistan. The price Harry is willing to endure to remain a principled individual amidst such moral torpor - incredible privations, loss of friendship, and betrayal is only superceded by his masterful skill in getting out of tight corners. Once again, another well-written, fast-paced thriller of an adventure that has you guessing to the end. There are many angles to this superman's life, and he thoughtfully uses everyone to make the world a safer place in which to live.
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Good book for the beachOct. 31 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is no better or worse than Frederic Forsyth's more recent books. I prefered Forsyth's earlier works such as The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, & The Devil's Protocol as Forsyth had clearly done a lot of research digging up details on military hardware, gun smuggling, mercenaries, etc. It's as if Forsyth had the inside scoop on these subjects and spilling everything for the reader.
Forsyth's later books don't have the same kind of detail (though in fairness, I had read those earlier books when I was a teenager, so my perspective might not be the same today were I to re-read these books.)
The Reluctant Hero doesn't have huge amounts of details to impress the reader with the author's knowledge. It has basic character development sketched with the smae amount of detail as you might get for characters in a Bond film. It's a basic adventure story with rather generic villains and a rather generic plot. It takes place in an imaginary former Soviet Republic, and Dobbs does succeed in conveying a sense of the place that rings true. If you're looking for an effortless read to distract you on a flight or on the beach, this is worth getting. But we're certainly not breaking any new boundaries here.
If you like Harry Jones, you'll enjoy this bookMarch 28 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Once again Michael Dobbs brings the reader a tale of the intrepid, somewhat maligned and otherwise all-round good guy, Harry Jones. This time he endeavors to save the life of a friend in a far-away Soviet spin-off country led by megalomaniacal upstarts. The story, as usual, from Mr Dobbs is well crafted and intriguing. It does, however, lack the thrust and dynamism of books such as "The Lord's Day" and "The Edge of Madness". There is a lull in the intensity just when it feels as though things should be heating and speeding up, and one feels as though you're dawdling through some potentially compelling narrative. "The Reluctant Hero" is saved by a spy-versus-spy feel that permeates the pages and results in a solid, Harry Jones no b.s. ending. All-in-all a good read, but not one of Mr Dobbs' best. If you like the character of Harry Jones, you'll enjoy this novel.