From Publishers Weekly
Bell's fine sixth thriller featuring swashbuckling British spy Alex Hawke mixes action and suspense with just the right amount of humor and old-fashioned boys-book adventure. Hawke, who's been feeling suicidal since a personal tragedy in his last outing (Tsar), snaps out of his depression and back into secret agent mode after receiving a phone call from his old pal, His Royal Highness, the prince of Wales. Someone is targeting the British royal family for assassination, starting years earlier with Charles's uncle, Lord Mountbatten. All clues point to the IRA and the mysterious killer known as Mr. Smith. Meanwhile, a terrorist organization, Sword of Allah, has joined forces with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and is carrying out a string of devastating bombings across the globe designed to establish a worldwide caliphate. Thriller readers looking for an unabashed romp with a patriotic heart and a smart take on modern-day terrorism will be amply rewarded. 6-city author tour.
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Alexander Hawke, the dashing MI6 counterterrorism operative, is wallowing in self-pity after the death of his fiancée and their baby (events related in the previous novel, Tsar, 2008). It takes a phone call from an old friend, Charles, the Prince of Wales, to snap him back into action, and soon Hawke is embroiled in an investigation that revolves around the decades-old murder of Lord Mountbatten, modern-day threats on the Royal Family, an IRA assassin, and an Islamic terrorist organization. With a style that feels more like Trevanian than Ian Fleming (but is imitative of neither), the Hawke novels are full of danger and derring-do, but they’re written in a light, breezy tone: not nearly spoofs of spy novels but not quite completely serious, either. Bell, a former advertising executive, mixes exciting plots with (slightly) larger than life characters. The result: a thrilling adventure yarn that’s a guaranteed winner. --David Pitt