Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 May 2019

Member Reviews

I have a little, well ok a huge, confession to make.  Although I have all of the books in the Marc Dane series, I haven't actually read one of them...…..until now that is.  Now I am a bit annoyed that I left it this long to read one.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Shadow' but more about that in a bit.
I developed a bit of a soft spot for ex-MI6 agent Marc Dane, but then I like a dashing, masculine, rugged hero type who saves the world despite having used up more than the nine lives a cat would have.  Dane reminded me a fair bit of James Bond although a lot more modern than Mr. Bond and certainly with different attitudes.
It took me a little while to get into this story but then I was tired when I started to read this book and it cannot be taken as a criticism of the author.  Once I got used to a new writing style and the new sort of plot, that was it I was away and then I couldn't stop reading.  I think that the plot allowed me to escape from boring daily life and into a world, which intrigues me but which also scares the crap out of me.  (I did have aspirations of working for MI5 or MI6 once but then I realised that I failed on three counts- firstly, I wasn't willing to die for Queen and country, secondly I would stand out from the crowd given that I have ginger hair and thirdly, I can't keep my mouth shut).  Anyway that's enough of my secret agent ambitions so back to the review I do go.  For me, 'Shadow' was fast paced, it hit the ground running and maintained the pace throughout.
'Shadow' is well written.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  He certainly knows how to grab your attention from the start and once he has your attention, he will not let it go until you read the last word on the last page.  The author writes so realistically and uses such vivid descriptions that I really did feel as though I was part of the story myself and that I was an invisible bystander to events as they happened in the book.  Some might say that the plot is a bit far fetched but I would disagree.  For me, the plot is scarily believable.
Reading 'Shadow' felt like being on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with no idea in which direction the story was going to take you next.  There were also several twists and turns to the story that I didn't see coming at all.  On more than one occasion, I found myself having to almost read through my fingers as I feared what was going to happen next or what was waiting for me over the page.  
In short and overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Shadow' and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers and particularly to those readers, who enjoy an action/ espionage/ thriller type of read.  I will definitely be reading more of James' work in the future, starting with the first two books in the Marc Dane series.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.
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A brilliant story that works solidly on its own. However, being the 4th in a series did mean I didn’t feel as invested in the characters as I perhaps should have been.
There’s enough of a pull to make me want to go back to the start though.
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I made such a mistake! I didn't realise that this was the fourth book in a series that I haven't read. Unfortunately I feel like this had a negative impact on my reading experience. I loved the story line and the adventure, however, I just couldn't connect with the characters.
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A ruthless far-right terrorist is broken out of captivity
A mysterious bio-scientist with a terrible secret is abducted
A lethal contagion threatens millions of lives across Europe and the Middle East
Ex-MI6 officer Marc Dane faces a deadly challenge against all odds, to stop a devastating attack before a new kind of weapon is unleashed . . .

The fourth instalment in James Swallow’s Marc Dane series.
Fast paced and exciting it would appeal to all action thriller fans who enjoy a compelling and well plotted novel. 
The author knows how to describe action and to keep the reader hooked and page turning.
Enjoyable read; just not my normal genre.
Recommend reading.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Shadow is a mixture of Mission Impossible and Jack Ryan where the leading man Marc Dane is the tech guy pushed into the field in an impossible situation. Trying to save the world any means necessary.
Marc has changed a lot throughout the series, taking more and more risks. I think he has become a bit of a danger junkie, who justifies his action as he is trying to save people. I wonder how long Marc luck will last.

Shadow shows the current tension in Europe and this makes it feels like its ground in reality. I like the fact that Jame Shallow didn’t take the easy route in his story telling.  He didn’t make the terrorist the Muslim refugee, but made the bad guys white nationalist.

By the end of the book, I feel that something is going to happen in the next book that will shock Rubicon to its core.

Shadow is a great addition to the Marc Dane series. A must read for anyone that likes the Thriller genre.

My rating for Shadow is 4 out of 5.
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Shadow marks the return of Marc Dane in the fourth instalment in the series, and we are treated to yet another high-stakes game of cat and mouse where there is never a dull moment and the action just keeps coming. MI6 agent Marc Dane, a computer expert who received an unexpected promotion to active field operative, experiences trial by fire in espionage on every mission he is now put forward for. In a thriller that spans several rich, vivid locations we readers are met with a pacey, race-against-the-clock scenario full of excitement and fraught with danger from start to finish. There are plenty of unscrupulous characters who will do anything to hide their secrets and this puts Marc in some incredibly tricky, life-threatening situations.

You can always rely on Mr Swallow to produce a fiercely compelling and exquisitely plotted novel, and this book is no exception. It's certainly one of my favourite series' at this moment in time due to how vivid and gritty it is and nothing is ever quite what it appears, but each book can be read as a standalone. This is the very definition of page-turner but also manages to remain topical and highly entertaining in the process. If you enjoy authors such as Ian Fleming (as there is plenty of advanced Bond-style tech and gadgets throughout) or John Le Carre you are going to find much to admire here. Even regular thriller readers will get a kick out of the story as it is just so beautifully crafted. I am already yearning for the next instalment. Many thanks to Zaffre for an ARC.
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Shadow sees the return of Marc Dane in another race against the clock in an adrenaline fuelled thriller where the action is non stop.

The author knows how to describe action and to keep the reader hooked and page turning and this is becoming a solid series which I enjoy

If you like action packed thriller then this book is highly recommended
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The fourth instalment in James Swallow’s Marc Dane series of contemporary thrillers, Shadow offers up another powerfully topical slice of high-stakes drama packed full of action, excitement, great characters and credible threats. When a bio-scientist and her family are kidnapped in Singapore, Dane and partner Lucy Keyes are sent to investigate, and it quickly becomes clear that there’s more to her work – for the Rubicon Group, no less – than it first appears. Meanwhile the escape of a right-wing extremist from Belgian police custody, and growing unease within the power structure of Rubicon itself, means their mission becomes more dangerous by the minute.

Swallow has clearly hit on a satisfying, entertaining formula with this series, and as you’d imagine this book keeps reasonably close to what’s gone before in order to maintain consistency and tap into what’s made the series so much fun so far. It has all the hallmarks of a classic thriller, with a gripping sense of pace and globe-trotting excitement and an engaging writing style that keeps the pages turning, but it also has a plot that feels relatable and (sometimes worryingly) relevant to what’s going on in the world today. Questions of division versus inclusivity, and the ethics of how Rubicon and its people operate, mean that for all the breathless excitement on offer it also hits pretty close to home. As the question of public, corporate and international accountability is becoming increasingly important in everyday life, it’s interesting to see that explored in the context of a thriller.

There’s something satisfying about how the wider series is slowly developing as each book progresses, in terms of Dane’s (and to a slightly lesser extent Lucy’s) character, the dynamic within Rubicon, and the overarching plot involving the Combine – this isn’t just a series of loosely-connected standalone adventures, but rather a gradually-expanding metaplot. Where Ghost broadened things out a little to spend more time with the rest of the Rubicon gang, this time around things are focused mostly on Dane and Lucy and their partnership. After the traumatic betrayal in the previous book there’s a little extra tension between the two of them, and we’re starting to see a little more of the implications of the choices they make. For Dane in particular, as we see more of what’s really driving him it’s beginning to become clear where that might lead him if he’s not careful.

It’s entirely possible to read this and enjoy it on a purely surface level – the pace, excitement and danger, the technology and the exotic locations, they all add up to everything you want from a switch-your-brain-off adventure thriller. If you’ve followed the series so far, however, it’s nicely rewarding to see a modern action-hero character like Dane slowly developing and feeling increasingly human, instead of remaining fixed in place like so many others. You feel that Swallow knows what he’s doing with this series, ticking all the boxes you’d expect while simultaneously introducing themes that stretch the thriller mould just a little and maintain a unique approach that sets it apart a little from the baseline of the genre. After four hugely enjoyable instalments, it shows no signs of slowing down or losing its impact and Swallow continues to impress.
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This is an action adventure series book by James Swallow about Marc Dane who is a spy/ security consultant working for the organisation Rubicon which is trying to do good in the world.
Mark and his partner, Ex soldier Lucy, are asked to investigate the disappearance of an employee of Rubicon and her family. She is a research scientist and has been working on a cure for cancer. Based in Singapore she was well on the way to a breakthrough when she disappeared. Fearing the worst Ekko Solomon the mysterious ceo of Rubicon dispatches his best operatives on a mission to find her.
In the course of the investigation Marc and Lucy encounter some old enemies as well as some horrendous new ones. Verbeke is a right wing terrorist who has some dreadful plans in the pipeline. His awful girlfriend is even worse and Marc and Lucy must use all their powers to try and stop them and their evil followers.
As is the case in this series of novels, Marc uses many clever gadgets in the course of  the investigation and this adds to the James Bond feel of the story although no Q is required as Marc is a tech expert as well as a spy! 
Shadow  is part of a series but it could be read as a stand alone novel too. However I suggest reading the other books as they are all great stories.
Fast paced and exciting it would appeal to all action thriller fans who enjoy a compelling and well plotted novel. 
I couldn’t put it down and was on the edge of my seat, keen to find out what would happen at the end.
The story itself concluded well but set up Marc and Lucy for their next outing. I will definitely be looking out for the next book in the series when it is published.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
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