By James Swallow
Nomad by James Swallow is a modern spy thriller. Typically the central character is a slightly unlikely hero and is falsely accused of treachery, meaning that he is running from everyone, including ‘his own side’ whilst trying to prove his innocence. In this case Marc Dane is the only survivor of a covert team who are all killed while on a mission and normally he is one of the ‘blokes in the van’, a computer techie providing back up, rather than an action man. His ex-Navy training and experience however stand him in good stead when he is thrown into the firing line.
I did fear that it was going to be of a type that I find irritating, the kind that go into far too much information regarding the specifications and technical details of the weaponry. However, while it did do this a little at the beginning it fell short of the depth and minutiae that I find distracting and uninteresting, to the point where it can put me off a writer completely. Without wanting to be sexist I would say such novels are ‘men’s books’ as I think the interest in technical details tends to be a male trait.
I would read more by this author as the characters and the fast moving plot kept me interested and involved. If you enjoy the genre then this is a good example with lots of twists and turns in the story-line. The book is well written with good dialogue and strongly drawn characters.
Anyone who enjoys this book would also like the Acer Sansom novels by Oliver Tidy, and vice versa.
One tiny detail that I am still puzzling over is the author’s use of ‘lensing’ as a verb right at the beginning and again towards the end of the book. I cannot find any reference in a dictionary or thesaurus that explains it other than as ‘lens’ meaning a piece of glass for concentrating light rays. Any offers?