When an US State Department official on a fact-finding mission to the Ukraine is placed under house arrest, the CIA hire Portman (codename:Watchman) to get him safely out of the country. In that dangerous and volatile region, Portman will find himself up against local gangsters, Ukrainian Special Forces, professional snipers, pro-Russian separatists and power-crazed cops. What he cannot know however is that his most lethal enemy comes from his own side
‘Close Quarters’ is the second Marc Portman thriller. I haven’t read ‘ The Watchman’, the first book featuring this character but there is enough background in this story to make it enjoyable as a standalone read.
The setting and political climate is contemporary and relevant. Told from Marc Portman’s point of view, in a PI style, Marc Portman is likeable and realistic. Unlike many novels of its ilk, ‘Close Quarters’ is not overly graphic in terms of violence. The story still portrays the menace and violence of the circumstances Portman experiences, which evidences quality writing.
The political conspiracy theme in the novel is not new but Portman’s role as a close protection expert, rather than a member of the special services, offers enough original insight to make it worth reading. The supporting characters and antagonists are complex characters and allow the reader glimpses into the conspiracy and the danger Portman faces, whilst he remains in ignorance, creating powerful dramatic irony.
This is an easy to read, well paced story with strong characters. I am intrigued enough to read more of this author’s stories.
I received a copy of this book from Severn House Publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars