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State Of Emergency

Andy McNab
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
McNab introduced Tom Buckingham in Red Notice and the second book, Fortress leads on into the latest publication, State of Emergency. Tom, who served in the British army, now works for MI5 and has infiltrated Vernon Rolt’s organisation which is known as Invicta. As a politician, Rolt has gained considerable popularity with his hardline attitude towards unrest and extremism and has finished up as Home Secretary from which position he intends take advantage of a prime minister who leans toward appeasement rather than confrontation.

The story opens just after the results of the general election have been declared with an intruder in a small craft sneaking up the Thames to a riverside hotel which has been used to celebrate Rolt’s success. The intruder is an assassin and penetrates all the security to finally enter Rolt’s room but is stopped by Tom who finds himself becoming involved in something which could affect the whole nation.

One of Rolt’s first actions is to make an example of Jamal who has managed to escape the fundamentalists he was with in Syria, in order to bring back a video of beheadings of females, which would show up the ISIS commanders for what they really are. In this, Jamal was helped by Emma, a reporter from UK. But Jamal has been double-crossed and everything starts to go wrong for him from the moment he is put into detention. Suicide bombers and a jail break help Jamal make up his mind.
In the meantime, Tom has been tested by a former CO of his regiment and accepted into a group which is intent on initiating a coup on behalf of Rolt who has formed a financial liaison with a Russian oligarch. Tom is sorely tested in his efforts to resolve the problems even with the aid of some in his own team, among which there appears to be a traitor.

Fast paced from the very beginning, this story does become a little involved with some of the characters introduced at times but is a fairly easy read and factually correct in almost all details.
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