#BlogTour #BookReview Outcast by Chris Ryan @rararesources @ZaffreBooks

OutcastWelcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Outcast by Chris Ryan. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Zaffre for my digital review copy via NetGalley.  Do check out the posts by my tour buddies for today, Nat at The Pursuit of Bookiness and Jo at Bookmadjo.

OutcastAbout the Book

After single-handedly intervening in a deadly terrorist attack in Mali, SAS Warrant Officer Jamie ‘Geordie’ Carter is denounced as a lone wolf by jealous superiors.

Now a Regiment outcast, Carter is given a second chance with a deniable mission: locate SAS hero-gone-rogue, David Vann.

Vann had been sent into Afghanistan to train local rebels to fight the Taliban. But he’s since gone silent and expected attacks on key targets have not happened.

Tracking Vann through Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Carter not only discovers the rogue soldier’s involvement in a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the Middle East – but an imminent attack that will have deadly consequences the world over . . .

Format: Hardback (304 pages)     Publisher: Zaffre
Publication date: 12th May 2022 Genre: Thriller

Find Outcast on Goodreads

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My Review

Fasten your seat belts, we’re about to go on one helluva ride!

What do you want from a thriller? Plenty of action scenes? Good guys who just might be bad guys? Bad guys who are really bad? More action scenes? A race against time pursuit? A scenario where all the odds are against the hero making it out alive?  A protagonist who’s seemingly invincible? A main character with an interesting back story? Well, in that case, Outcast is the book for you!

The up-to-the minute plot set in the aftermath of the US’s sudden and disorganised withdrawal from Afghanistan makes it feel incredibly timely and relevant. It’s a situation where an official Western military presence has been replaced by embedded Special Forces agents whose actions are deniable if things go wrong. And they do. Enter Carter…

I loved that the author doesn’t make Carter a mere killing machine. He’s a man who never knew his father, grew up in a council flat with his mother and a stepfather who was a violent drunk. Carter could have gone off the rails – indeed he did for a time- but joining the army and, eventually, the SAS saved him. It gave him a purpose and instilled discipline in him. In a way, the SAS Regiment has become his pseudo family, although he’s still solitary by nature. Of course, Carter is a killer but not one who kills for the sake of it.  His SAS training means he’s in peak physical condition. In the words of a girlfriend (actually an ex-girlfriend, silly girl) he possesses ‘muscles that looked as if they had been sculpted from a block of marble’. (Is it me, or is it hot in here?) His physical fitness is certainly tested in the course of the book which includes perilous border crossings and mad dashes along mountain paths in pursuit of an enemy who becomes more deadly by the minute.

As I’m not a member of the SAS (although, if I was, obviously I couldn’t tell you or, if I did, I’d have to kill you), I can’t judge how accurate the descriptions of weaponry, military hardware and tactics are but they convinced me. Given the author’s military background, you’d expect nothing less.

Outcast is a kick-ass, action-packed thriller that positively oozes authenticity. It’s the epitome of a page-turner and, although it’s very different from my usual diet of historical fiction, I really enjoyed it. I very much hope there will be a future mission for Carter. In the meantime, can he please go and take out Putin?

In three words: Action-packed, exciting, authentic

Try something similar: Betrayal by David Gilman

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Chris RyanAbout the Author

Chris Ryan was born in Newcastle. In 1984 he joined 22 SAS. After completing the year-long Alpine Guides Course, he was the troop guide for B Squadron Mountain Troop. He completed three tours with the anti-terrorist team, serving as an assaulter, sniper and finally Sniper Team Commander.

Chris was part of the SAS eight-man team chosen for the famous Bravo Two Zero mission during the 1991 Gulf War. He was the only member of the unit to escape from Iraq, where three of his colleagues were killed and four captured, for which he was awarded the Military Medal.

Chris wrote about his experiences in his book The One That Got Away, which became an immediate bestseller. Since then he has written over fifty books and presented a number of very successful TV programmes.

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