Title: Outlaw by Mark Sullivan
Imprint: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Political, Thriller
Length: 334 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
While conducting top-secret negotiations aboard a tanker in the South China Sea, the U.S. Secretary of State and the foreign ministers of China and India are kidnapped, and the tanker they are on is hijacked. The “Sons of Prophecy” take responsibility and issue an ultimatum: If their demands are not met in seven days, the three will be beheaded live on the Internet.
With the presidential election in only eight days, sitting President Sands, about to leave office, calls in former CIA operative and master thief Robin Monarch and convinces him to save the diplomats before the threatened execution.
In Outlaw, Monarch and his counterpart, a mysterious Chinese agent named Song Le, embark upon a dangerous journey into the underbelly of Southeast Asia, a world of corrupt Vietnamese Army officers, fanatical pirates, Hong Kong triad leaders, and volatile mercenaries living around the red light districts of Thailand. As they get closer and closer, with time quickly running out, Monarch learns that the daring kidnapping and ransom pot diabolical plot is only a front. Behind it is another plot, one designed to alter the outcome of the election itself, a conspiracy that reaches deep inside the White House, back to the very people who hired Monarch in the first place.
Mark Sullivan’s Outlaw is an action packed and suspense laden political thriller. This second installment starring Robin Monarch is full of unexpected twists and turns that culminate in an unpredictable but very satisfying conclusion.
The non-stop thrill ride begins immediately as Robin Monarch enlists the aid of his eclectic but multi-talented crew to assist him as he begins his search for U.S. Secretary of State Agnes Lawton and the foreign ministers of China and India. Accompanied by Song Le and Bashir Rhana, agents from China and India, Robin and his team are quickly immersed in a race to save the kidnapped victims before the fast approaching deadline.
Robin is one of those characters that is impossible to not to like. He might be a thief and a mercenary, but in this outing, he is not using or selling his services for personal gain. Robin is quick thinking with a vast array of skills that he puts to good use on numerous occasions saving not only himself but his compatriots as well. His daring risks are breathtakingly ingenious and yield key information that proves to be invaluable as they search for the diplomats.
While one of the adversary’s identity is revealed early in the novel, his co-conspirators remain shrouded in mystery. The kidnapping plot is quite complex and the reason for the unfolding events is nearly impossible to decipher. Trusted contacts prove to be unreliable and lead the team into dangerous, life-threatening situations.
Outlaw is an intricately plotted and shrewdly executed novel. Mark Sullivan brings readers a unique story that is incredibly fast paced and full of fiendishly clever plot twists. All of the loose ends are neatly wrapped up but a worthy opponent and a few niggling doubts continue to plague Robin Monarch and I cannot help but wonder if they will play a role in the storyline of the next book in the series.