The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins #BookReview #BlogTour

The Failsafe Query is a gripping thriller set in the contemporary world of modern British espionage.

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for Alfie Chapman, an Intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. This includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy.

Tense, fast-paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale. 

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins today. Many thanks to the author, Unbound and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

I always look forward to reading spy thrillers and certainly wasn't disappointed by The Failsafe Query which features some references to well-known historical events that continue to shape our lives but with most of the action taking place only a few years ago also has the feel of a contemporary thriller.
The prologue takes place in Moscow in 2005 with a clandestine night-time exchange between two men but then the timeline switches back to 2001 where the reader is introduced to Sean Richardson, an intelligence agent working in Central America. This part of the novel led me to believe that the book would be a high-octane action thriller but although it's most certainly tense throughout, this is actually more of an intricately plotted puzzle than an all-out adventure.
As the first major character introduced and the main protagonist, Sean is an enigmatic figure whose years working undercover meant I was never truly sure what his motivations were or what he would decide to do. This could have been frustrating but I actually really enjoyed reading a novel where as much as I liked a character, I was kept in the dark as to his true intentions. The pacing of the story is excellent too, gradually bringing all the main players together until Sean is eventually tasked with a high-risk mission to search for Alfie Chapman, a missing intelligence agent who like Edward Snowden before him, had amassed reams of damning evidence that he was preparing to expose to the public.
Michael Jenkins' experiences in the British Army ensure that there's an authenticity to The Failsafe Query and the links in the story to events in our recent history including the so-called dodgy dossier that was used to justify the war in Iraq and the aforementioned whistleblowing by Snowden are a compelling look at moments which have become part of our national consciousness. This might be fiction but I was struck throughout by the realisation that there is so much the general public don't know about what our intelligence agencies are up to - whether for the security of the nation or occasionally for less honourable reasons. It's a sobering thought. With the most up to date scenes in the book set in 2016, it also references the then forthcoming US Presidential elections and EU referendum and cleverly includes whispers about Russian meddling which will have readers nodding along in what has now become hindsight.
This is a gripping and complex thriller which becomes increasingly tense as the novel progresses. It features an intricate plot and believable characters and captures superbly both the sense of fear and mistrust that must infiltrate the lives of the people who live and work in these circles, and the feeling of intense camaraderie that flourishes amongst those who live on the edge. The Failsafe Query is an exciting, intelligent read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Failsafe Query is published by Unbound and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

Giveaway – Win 5 x PB copies of The Failsafe Query & a spy linkage map (unframed) (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Please note this is a giveaway courtesy of Rachel's Random Resources and in no way the responsibility of Hair Past A Freckle.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author
Michael Jenkins served for twenty-eight years in the British Army, rising through the ranks to complete his service as a major. He served across the globe on numerous military operations as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
His experiences within the services involved extensive travel and adventure whilst on operations, and also on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that he led or was involved in.
He was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity.  He was awarded the MBE on leaving the armed forces in 2007 for his services to counterterrorism.
The Failsafe Query is Michael’s first novel. He has started work on his second spy thriller, The Kompromat Kill, and hopes to publish it the spring of 2019.
Twitter  Facebook  Website