The latest installment in the Nick Stone series, Zero Hour follows the former special forces soldier through a series of British deniable operations.
The missions are uncannily familiar – namely, an Israeli bombing raid in Syria and a British-led bombing operation blamed on Islamic extremists. Not only that, but Stone has his doubts about the purpose behind a supposed rescue mission. He resolves to watch his back and keep all options open.
As always, the former SAS soldier throws food down his neck, cuts away from difficult feelings and does an awful lot of shopping down at the hardware store. Readers can rely upon his Green Beret abilities to navigate the world, locate a solar plexus and sniff out a stitch-up.
Travelling through Syria, Moldova, the Netherlands and Norfolk, the rock-hard hero battles all manner of obstacles and foes – from Russian gangsters to bent Romanian soldiers and Scouse pimps. Harbouring suspicions, Stone has to do some digging and find out why MI5 would want to rescue an arms dealer’s daughter so badly.
New methods of surveillance and electronic warfare are explored in the book, from GCHQ monitoring of Facebook through to British tampered microchips installed in enemy missile defence systems.
The analysis of Iran, North Korea, Syria and the nuclear proliferation debate is incisive, making this book a light must-read for international relations students. The complexity of the international chess game is balanced with an engaging and fast-moving plot.
McNab knows how to play to his audience and allows his protagonist to have every sort of adventure that is not possible or permissible in ordinary life; stealing a lifeboat, assuming multiple identities and drawing on a thorough knowledge of kitchen bomb building to get the job done.
The real-life experience of the author brings Nick Stone to life and makes this dirty, bloody, spy novel the working-man’s answer to James Bond.
Zero Hour is released in hardback on 25th November 2010. The paperback version is released on 28th December 2010.