The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins #BookReview #BlogTour

They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.
When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive. Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.
As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands...............
Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.

It's my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Kompromat Kill today. Many thanks to Michael Jenkins and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Sean Richardson series, The Failsafe Query, I was looking forward to reading The Kompromat Kill. As with the previous novel, it opens in the past - this time in East Berlin in 1986 during the Cold War. A British female officer is tasked with helping a defecting Stasi colonel cross the border into West Germany. The outcome from that night eventually becomes an important part of the modern-day plot but just how and why isn't revealed for some time.
As with The Failsafe Query, Michael Jenkins has written a book which cleverly mirrors real-life events. In this case the storyline focuses on the relationship between Russia and Iran and the likelihood of Cold War 2.0 following Trump's decision to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan on Action which saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear activities and to reinstate crippling economic sanctions against Iran and the states that trade with it. With tensions between the USA and Iran rising, particularly since oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf, The Kompromat Kill is chillingly believable and it certainly makes for a disturbing read.
Although Sean Richardson is the main protagonist in the book, he isn't the sole focus and I enjoyed the plot switching between his activities in the field and the behind-the-scenes scheming, particularly by Jack H who has a clandestine role as commander of MI5's most secret internal unit. Sean is a deniable operator but was formerly a legitimate officer and during the course of the novel, the psychological effects of his change in fortunes becomes increasingly obvious, especially after he learns a shocking secret about his past. His mission to uncover a spy ring intent on a deadly plan to inflict an atrocious act of terrorism on the West, while also attempting to turn an Iranian spy (with whom he has a complicated history), is gripping but there is far more to this intricately plotted book. It is also a thoughtful and poignant exploration of how the killings, danger and constant need to remain alert and suspicious, coupled with the burden of knowing far more than the general public inflicts a heavy mental toll on those involved. The repercussions of the past also cast a long and distressing shadow over the proceedings, with revelations about horrific criminal atrocities inflicted by those supposed to protect the innocent.
I didn't find this a fast paced read but that's not meant as a criticism; the complex storyline ensures an authenticity perhaps lacking in some action thrillers. There are some nail-biting scenes of course and there's no escaping the knowledge of just how high the stakes are here. The sense of tension is actually far more credible as it comes from the frightening reminder that we are undoubtedly unaware of just how often our security forces have prevented acts of terror. I'm sure that both historical and contemporary events will continue to influence Sean's professional and personal life and I look forward to following this fascinating character on his next high-risk, deniable operation.

The Kompromat Kill can be purchased from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

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

About the Author

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.
I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.
The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.
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