Title: The Best Laid Plans
Author: Russell Govan
Undercover police officer Josh Gray, a former soldier, rescues a young woman, Amelia Harris, from assault by two men late at night. Days later Harris reappears as an old friend of a member of the terrorist cell that Gray has infiltrated. Will she blow his cover?
Her re-emergence is a further unwelcome complication in a fraught operation to investigate a terrorist group bent on detonating multiple explosive devices in densely packed public spaces. Gray's instincts suggest that the threat might involve more than just the lone cell - headed by Ryan Watson, a charismatic ideologue whose frustration with conventional politics has driven him to embrace extremism.
The threat to national security grows, at the same time that Gray feels increasingly isolated in the operation.
When a practice attack by the cell against a soft target succeeds in causing significant damage, albeit at the cost of one of the terrorists lives, Gray realises that the quality of equipment provided means the cell is incredibly well funded, and that Watson’s disregard for human life extends to members of his own team.
As the operation reaches its climax, a sudden terrifying twist sees Gray involved in a race to neutralise a new threat, as Watson embarks on an unexpected mission to strike at the very heart of the British establishment.
A gripping police thriller ripped from the modern news headlines. If you’re reading about outside election interference, and it made you wonder 'what could have happened'? Well, this book provides one potential answer and it's not pretty.
The main character Josh is brilliant. The best part of this book is when Josh is dispensing justice on his own terms. A hero who can handle himself and deal with any threat is rare these days. More of his extracurricular justice would have raised this book to mega super status.
The depth of character displayed by the author is impressive. The tale is deep and woven in a way to keep the reader enthralled. At times, it is difficult to determine whether all the bad guys are bad and the good guys good.
If you are a fan of the 0 0 7 series, you will want to read this book. Fans of great political thrillers will also love this book. This is a superb standalone read. Being part of a series, it will appeal to all who read the first one. A great read that will put the last few elections in perspective.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Russell Govan began attending writing classes in 2015 at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Encouraged by his tutor, he worked on a class project that eventually evolved into his first novel, Bank on Nothing, published by Sharpe Books in 2020. The deal with Sharpe Books required a second novel in the same genre, which led to the publication of The Best Laid Plans in 2021.
Between production of his two thrillers, Govan produced a time-slip romance titled I Know You. An extract from I Know You was shortlisted for the Grindstone 2019 International Short Story Prize. I Know You is due to be published by Guernica World Editions in 2022.
Govan is married and lives in Oxford.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N