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Sentinel A Spycatcher Novel Paperback – 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Wm. Morrow; First Edition edition (2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062189468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062189462
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

This book was an outstanding read!
Amazon Customer
This book has TOO many characters and it's hard to keep even the main characters straight.
ttmadison
It is filled with drama and suspense, with twists and turns.
Israel Drazin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm so far enjoying this series, the adventure of Will Cochrane, code-named Spartan, a highly-trained MI6 agent who operates as a virtual lone wolf.

In this episode Cochrane meets his predecessor, code-named Sentinel, now managing a network of high-level Russian spies. But spies are being killed off one by one. And meanwhile, Russian nationalists are trying to trigger war, which they can then use to consolidate power at home.

Cochrane finds himself up against a Russian commando as formidable and resourceful as he is. Meanwhile, as he works with Sentinel to catch their adversary, he must contemplate the loneliness of the superspy's life he has chosen. The Sentinel has made that choice and is a living example of what might happen if he stays on his current career path.

I'm of two minds about the trend toward introspective spies. At one point in time, this was more about espionage knights questioning whether the West was worth risking one's life for, and whether Communism was really that bad. Writers, and former agents, like John Le Carre and Graham Greene went there. There is also, of course, the typical British spy novel involving a middle-aged protagonist with a divorce and a drinking problem. There's a certain realism to that.

Nowadays, though, it's more about establishing the protagonist as a New Age sensitive guy. This in turn is probably fed by a desire to make them, and their stories, more attractive to female readers, who drive book sales as an overwhelming majority of the book-buying public. (All those book clubs.) Male readers are happy enough with a James Bond type spy: Cool in battle, hot with the ladies, using great gadgets and having no worries. And, OK, if he occasionally is a little more three-dimensional, that's not terrible either.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found SENTINEL: A SPYCATCHER NOVEL to be more of a chore than anything. While the plot, in the context of the book makes sense (sort of!), I found it mostly illogical from a real world standard--as in "who in their right mind would make something so simple be so complicated?" If this is the way real world secret-agents work their devious plots, it's no wonder they never get anything accomplished! At one point, Will, the main character, decides to wire himself and his female russian agent friend for communication WHILE they're driving down the road tailing one of the bad guys! If you knew you were setting out for a multi-person tail of a suspect, wouldn't you KNOW you might want to communicate with each other BEFOREHAND and do that before you left the hotel? EGAD!

Now, in fairness, I can enjoy a story that doesn't make a whole lot of real world sense, but unfortunately, SENTINEL was saddled with way too detailed, way too formal and way too wooden dialogue. I found it so bothersome that I was never able to get involved with the book. It became a chore to force myself to continue reading as I counted how many pages to go. All the action and excitement was sucked right out of the plot by the ridiculously formal and detailed dialogue.

If you were chasing the bad guy in a car, would you say "go faster, don't lose him!" or would you say "accelerate our vehicle to 120MPH and maintain our following distance of the car we are chasing at 125 feet so that we can keep the car we are following within our visual radius!" (NOT an actual quote from the book, but a generalized idea of the type of dialogue you'll find.) If you like the latter, then you'd probably like this book. If not, I'd say look elsewhere for some entertainment.

Details?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I always enjoy a good spy novel, and really don't expect too much, but COME ON! Pathetic attempt!
Virtually every decision the 'super spy' protagonist makes is wrong. The bad guy is always four steps ahead and apparently able to read the minds of everyone else so that he is there hours ahead of time to foil plans, able to approach to within hand to hand combat range even though his opponents (highly trained and skilled operatives in their own right) are armed with a handgun, able to 'twist and dodge the bullet', and (spoiler alert!) able to kill every one of the 'tier-1' agents in Russia before they can be saved by the Sentinel! Oh, and we are really supposed to believe that the Sentinel has been able to recruit as his agents over a dozen of Russia's elite military officers - including Generals?!
Please, there is not one part of this book that is believable and the MOST unbelievable part is that I went ahead and read the whole thing because I paid 10 bucks for it. Lesson learned!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hrafnkell Haraldsson VINE VOICE on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sentinel, a Spy Catcher novel by Matthew Dunn, doesn't offer anything new that audiences and readers have not seen in movies or in other novels of this genre. Of course, that in itself is not a condemnation since it is very difficult to find something new to offer plot-wise. You have a good guy, a bad guy and the bad guy has some nefarious design and the good guy has to stop him. The problem lies in the fact that Matthew Dunn doesn't say it as well as it's been said before by nearly everybody else I can think of.

You have to bow to his experience: he is former MI6 himself and with more than sufficient training to create a realistic and believable plot. The trouble is that his writing skills aren't up to the task of keeping pace with or doing just to that experience. The whole story seems amateurish, both in descriptions and - especially - in dialogue. The plot is also weak and not quite believable.

The protagonist is Will Cochrane, a special agent known as Spartan, supposedly the deadliest agent the West possesses, is sent into Russia in response to a cryptic message that says only, "He has betrayed us and wants to go to war." In Where Eagles Day Fashion, Cochrane has two bosses, one of whom is named Alistair (as in Alistair MacLean, the author of Where Eagles Dare). This fact-finding mission unleashes a chain of events that escalates with every encounter. This is a good thing in fiction, this sense of escalation and rising stakes, but for one problem.

And here I must issue a spoiler alert. If you don't wish to know anymore, or you like to waste your money on subpar thrillers, stop here. But I will say I told you so up front.

Cochrane comes across as a cross between Jason Bourne (his ruthless training is very similar) and Jack Bauer.
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More About the Author

As an MI6 field officer, Matthew Dunn recruited and ran agents, coordinated and participated in special operations, and acted in deep-cover roles throughout the world. He operated in highly hostile environments, where, if compromised and captured, he would have been executed. Dunn was trained in all aspects of intelligence collection, deep-cover deployments, small-arms, explosives, military unarmed combat, surveillance, and infiltration.

Medals are never awarded to modern MI6 officers, but Dunn was the recipient of a very rare personal commendation from the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs for work he did on one mission, which was deemed so significant that it directly influenced the successful conclusion of a major international incident.

During his time in MI6, Dunn conducted approximately seventy missions. All of them were successful. He lives in England.


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