SAS: Red Notice
February 27, 2021

Book Review

SAS: Red Notice

Andy McNab

reviewed by Pam Guynn

SAS: Red Notice by Andy McNab is a book that grabs your attention with the prologue and has you fully hooked in the first chapter. It is a crime action adventure mainly set in England and the English Channel that features a SAS soldier and his teammates who go up against terrorists.

It’s also the first book in the Tom Buckingham series. The realism is given credibility by the author’s own experience as a member of the B Squadron of the 22 SAS Regiment working on both covert and overt operations worldwide. 

Protagonist Sergeant Tom Buckingham is off-duty and winds up on the Eurostar to Paris when terrorists take its 400 passengers as hostage. What follows is lots of action along with some heartbreak, intrigue, and bravery. The reader gets a good sense of Tom’s character over the course of the book. He has depth, some faults that play into the story line, and makes for a great lead. We also get a good feel for the antagonist, Lazlo Antonov. What has shaped his personality and actions? A variety of secondary characters have varying degrees of depth that lent a genuineness to them. 

The author brought a strong sense of place to the events in the book. The action somehow managed to seem plausible even though it was definitely extreme. Additionally, many questions came to my mind? What are people capable of doing? What pushes people to do the things they do? What impact does political maneuvering have during a crisis? What are people willing to do to conceal past actions or inactions? What happens when politicians are so focused on giving plausibility and conviction to potential future denials of knowledge? 

The writing style kept me engaged throughout the novel. It does include some of the weapons, ammunition, and gear discussions that are typical of this type of book, but it is not overdone. For those that need to know, there is a great deal of violence in the book. My main quibble with the book was the abrupt transitions that occurred between scenes with no warning. 

SAS: Red Notice is an action-filled, heart-pounding thriller that also includes a love story that doesn’t detract from the story, but adds depth. This is the first book that I have read by Andy McNab but it won’t be the last. I highly recommend this novel to those that like thrillers, military thrillers, and other novels by this author. For movie enthusiasts, there is a motion picture based on this book that will be coming out soon.

Welbeck Publishing and Andy McNab provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for April 6, 2021.

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