Outlaw – James Swallow

The king is dead, his house of cards brought down, his enemies standing in the ashes of what he built and carving up what remains of his empire to serve their own purposes, the Rubicon Group broken up from within and its assets repurposed following a takeover masterminded by Pytor Glovkonin of the ruthless Combine, Ekko Solomon lying dead under a pile of rubble in Mozambique; the king is dead, long live the king.

The few remaining members of the Special Conditions Division on the run, regarded as outlaws wanted by international police for questioning about an operation carried out by Combine hitmen where faked evidence incriminated the SCD, since the death of their mentor Marc Dane has become their de facto leader, leading by instinct and training rather than a plan, remaining in the shadows but listening keenly for information and the opportunity to use it.

Glovkonin’s victory over his personal nemesis having given him a secure foothold within the upper echelons of the Combine, his next step is to climb higher through manipulation and assassination, Dane and Lucy Keyes among the few loose ends to be tied up which remain a threat to his vast ambition, elusive targets who have so far dodged every bullet but who now come seeking him on the streets of Paris where the Combine meet to plan their next subversion of democracy and order.

Outlaw the sixth of James Swallow’s Marc Dane techothrillers, the fallout of Rogue still tainting Dane and his associates, they are now fugitives operating without the resources or protection of the powerful Rubicon group. Kicked to the gutter and having to operate at that lowly level they no longer have the view of the battlefield as seen from the moral high ground, instead turning directly into the storm because running will only delay the inevitable.

On every mission they have faced death, yet never before has it felt so much like the end; previously, if any of the team had fallen, there would have been someone else to take their place in the fight against the Combine, but now they are the last in line, forced to rely on associates who in other circumstances they would regard as unreliable, untrustworthy or worse, but the alternative is to hand power to the criminal organisation whose previous schemes have involved nuclear and biological weapons.

From murder in Monaco to arson in Istanbul, torching the trail of evidence as they go, the Combine hold all the cards and pull the strings, but from racing through the Métro on motorbike to speedboat racing in Sochi Dane’s team are the best at what they do, with nocturnal infiltrations and broad daylight deceptions played to tip the table in their favour, Outlaw the culmination of all that has come before which barely offers a pause for breath to consider where the series might be heading next.

Outlaw is available now from Zaffre



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