Cover Image: Defend or Die

Defend or Die

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Summary: Former government agent now works for a secret organisation carrying out missions the government would have to deny.

I have never read any books by Tom Marcus before, but after reading this, I think it will be added to my list of authors. For anyone who has read Andy McNab or similar, you get a realistic approach to the story, because there is some of the authors experience (training or in real life) present.

The language is easy to read, unlike some traditional authors who use flowery prose for every description, the author follows the KISS principle, by Keeping It Simple, Stupid. And it is this that makes the book so easy to read.

Great book, recommend for thriller fans.
Was this review helpful?
Defend or Die is the second instalment in the former MI5 agent Matt Logan series, which follows ex surveillance operative Matt as a fully fledged member of the clandestine group known as Blindeye, a government organisation that deals with threats to the United Kingdom's National Security and whose members maintain a level of plausible deniability in all the off the book assignments they undertake. This time Matt and the clan are called in to assemble, investigate and dig for intelligence when a dangerous terrorist threat emerges. Based out of their new secret base of Clearwater Security in central London, the team liaise with MI6 operatives who strongly believe that the Russians are employing former-patriots, who emigrated to Britain, to incite an attack. Victor Shlovsky, a Russian oligarch and billionaire living in the London suburbs of affluent Hampstead Heath, is placed under intensive surveillance, an order seemingly of so little importance that the Prime Minister himself had previously directly demanded they leave Shlovsky alone having blocked the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6) from carrying it out. The day-to-day management of the team changes frequently and this time it's the turn of Mrs Allenby, the Director General's former personal assistant, but it's quite the shock to hear the news that two Blindeye members have recently passed away since the last time they were summoned.

Craig McKinley suffered a fatal heart attack while on holiday in the Grampians and it turns out that Claire Maxwell was due to attend that day's meeting, but on her way along a remote stretch of road near the North York Moors she senses something isn't quite right and before she knows it she's in an accident. It isn't long before other colleagues begin to feel as though they are also being targeted, including Logan who believes he was driven at in the street outside a pub, but fortunately he escaped unscathed yet shaken. Who exactly is hunting them down and what is their endgame? This is a riveting, action packed and explosive read right from the start, and I found myself breathless with anticipation over what would happen next. Logan has a dangerous and ever-changing job and him and his team must evolve and adapt based on the threat they are facing at the time. It's a high-octane game of cat and mouse, which had my heart thumping, and Mr Marcus, having worked the exact same job as Logan, fills the plot with a rich authenticity and reality-driven storyline not often encountered in spy thrillers. The fact that Logan is human and flawed rather than invincible makes it all the more engrossing to me, and I must admit I read until the dawn chorus as I was well and truly immersed in this nail-biting page-turner. I look forward to the third outing scheduled for May 2021. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars
Defend or Die is a full on gripping story. Think about all the billionaires that live in Hampstead, London, and their glamourous life, nothing can touch them, right? Well, in reality we all know that it’s not that easy because they are always a target for anyone with a bit of courage to challenge their security or bank accounts.

Matt Logan is a peculiar character that got my attention from the first time he’s introduced in the story and I need to read the first book in the series to get to know a bit more about him because he’s definitely an interesting person. The whole team is surprisingly not exactly what I was expecting but, thinking better of it, they actually work much better together and the more they have to unveil the secrets with every new twist and turn of the situations, the more it had me engrossed and anticipating what shoe will drop next. 

There are a few predictable moments and it’s normal as the story covers a lot of topics that already have been told in other suspenseful books, but there are also quite a few moments when I was caught unprepared and I loved those more than anything. 

A must read novel for the crime/thrillers lovers.
Was this review helpful?
I really loved this book.
I was expecting a lot of action and escapism, especially with the title (not keen on that, sorry).and probably tough guys with big hearts using dodgy methods for the good of their country. 
Yes, this was all that but it also gave us so much more. 
The sheer depth of the characters demonstrated a real compassion and an intelligent style that actually shocked me out of my comfort zone for once.
I fell a little in love with the protagonist and my heart went out to him on more than one occasion. The really clever use of the things / people he believed he saw (don't want to give anything away, that's all) made me stop and think about what these guys sometimes go through.
Will definitely seek out this author again.  
Great plot too by the way!
Was this review helpful?
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

an impressive read that flowed really well.. though at times i got lost in the storyline but that ok as soon as i recognised where and who it was it started to make sense

these are a group like spooks but there are only 4 of them with a handler.. and the handler could be someones granny....

but they seem to work well though they use to be more of them, two others are dead, whether they have been murdered or they were accidents remain to be seen...though what links them is unclear

the group are investigation a church a russian who the prime minster has told them to a clashing of interests abound

an interesting read and i like the dynamics of the group will be keeping an eye out for more of this authors works
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Pan Macmillan for the ARC.
This is Book#2 in the Matt Logan series but reads well as a standalone.  I really enjoyed it; fast-paced and well-written, with a sophisticated plot; excellent characters and dialogue.

Blindeye, a deniable government organisation bringing operatives together to counter terrorist threats to the UK, are called together once again.  The team have a base now under the cover of Clearwater Security in London. MI6 believe the Russians are using ex-patriots in London to instigate an attack.  One, Viktor Shlovsky, is targeted for Blindeye because the Prime Minister had blocked any such activity from SIS.  The Director General's former PA, Mrs Allenby, has taken over the day-to-day running of the team.  However, when they meet they discover two of their previous members, have died - Claire in a car accident and Craig by a heart attack.  Add their deaths to a questionable incident outside a pub where Logan is almost run over and the team begin to think someone may be hunting them down.
Alongside their surveillance operation Logan experiences visitations from his dead wife Sarah and son Joseph;, notices a fox which seems to appear anytime there is a problem, and becomes acquainted with the body of a young girl he encounters in his observation post.
All intriguing stuff.  Are the team being hunted down?  Can Logan maintain his sanity when he has to submit to brainwashing by a religious fanatic?  Can the team once again save the day?

Brilliant read.
Was this review helpful?
An exciting thriller with Matt Logan and the blindeye team in a deniable investigation into a possible terrorist attack. Involving a Russian oligarch the trail leads eventually to a rundown church with a crazy cleric. The appearance of a fox at intervals keeps interest high as it all builds to a satisfying conclusion. More to come one would imagine!
Was this review helpful?
A great read.  I hadn't realised it was the second in the Matt Logan series and I wished I had read the first one.  This book does give a little background so can be read alone.  As Logan narrates the story it is very much about his emotions as the basic catch the terrorists plot.  Presumably based on his own experiences, he portrays the emotion as well as the physical cost of being a MI5/MI6 operative.  I did wonder if there was a special significance to the inclusion of a fox at key moments.

I look forward to the next one.
Was this review helpful?
This was the first Matt Logan book that I have read but I will now certainly catch up with the previous one.

Thos was an exciting fast paced thriller and Matt Logan was an intriguing hero with a fascinating back story.

The writer - given his background - certainly knows his subject and this is a rip-roaring, action packed thriller that left me breathless.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.  

This is my first read by Tom Marcus and I really enjoyed this.   An off the books team are looking to find out who is behind a security threat to the UK.   The main character Matt Logan was likeable, believable with a good background history.   The book had my attention right from the start, I thought it was very well written and slowly and surely I became hooked.   It had everything I like in a book - intrigue, suspense, a well thought out plot line and several twists and turns.  I will read the previous book now and look forward to the next book.  

4 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Defend or Die starts with a bang; a lone female driving in a remote part of the Yorkshire moors repeatedly checking her rear view mirror her senses telling her there's something wrong about the car behind her. An adrenaline fuelled introduction that was perfect for grabbing my attention and getting me hooked. 

This the second novel in the Matt Logan series brings the operatives of the Blindeye team back together in London with a new task, a new office and a couple of changes to the team. Tasked with keeping tabs on a Russian Billionaire they find themselves in the leafy suburbs of Londons Hampstead Heath.

Some good characters are beginning to emerge in this series and the narrative describing the teams movements on the ground is well written making it easy to follow and interesting at the same time. I'm really liking the character of Logan; he's clearly damaged but also a good guy and wanting him to succeed kept me turning the pages.

The author clearly knows his stuff and the straight-talking way this book is written made it easy to get into, I took this one on holiday with me and it was perfect for reading on the plane and by the pool. Whilst it could definitely be read as a standalone,  to get the most from the characters I'd definitely recommend reading the series in order.

My thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for the advance copy for review purposes, I was under no obligation and all opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Matt Logan is a complex man. He is an orphan from the streets, lost his wife and child to violence, and his work life is difficult. He was part of a deniable government group that is splintering, but the remnants of which have been tasked to urgently find who is behind a threat to cripple London with a terrorist attack. 

This is fast paced, with twists and turns in the narrative that keeps the reader intrigued. The authors background comes through quite nicely too.      I don’t know if I actually enjoyed it, but once I started reading, I needed to know what happened, which is the sign of a good read for me. 

Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
With this book,Tom Marcus really shows that he has arrived as a skilled story teller.

The narrative flows and keeps the reader engaged, the plot is well fleshed out and doesn't have those moments when the reader thinks "oh yeah".

Marcus's background adds that authenticity that really makes the book so satisfying to read.
Was this review helpful?
Complex and intricate political thriller. Two mysteries for the team to solve. Fast paced and exciting.
Was this review helpful?