June 15, 2024

Book Review


reviewed by Pam Guynn

Mark Greaney is skilled in bringing together diverse characters, a contemporary topic, and plenty of pulse-pounding exhilarating action. Sentinel, the second book in the Armored series, features Josh and Nicole Duff. Both work for the U.S. State Department. Josh is a special agent in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security while Nicole is a junior political officer.

Nicole gets her first overseas assignment and they’re both sent to Ghana, a country with a stable democracy. Their children also go with them. However, a foreign nation’s plan to embarrass the United States and gain control of resources in the country makes this assignment anything but easy.

Josh is former military and a former close protection agent. He suffers from nightmares and panic attacks. He has a competent nature, and is affable, but misses the exhilaration of high-threat protection. Nicole is highly disciplined, intelligent, and diligent. There are many other characters, but there is a character list at the beginning of the book as well as an abbreviations list.

Greaney is an excellent storyteller who kept me on the edge of my seat with gripping scenes, volatile action scenes, a superb plot, and fantastic writing. In preparation for his Gray Man series, he not only traveled to multiple countries but trained extensively in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combative tactics. That experience has been translated into the events in this series as well.

The suspense, with its constant sense of urgency and uneasiness, kept me fully engrossed in the story. The world-building was excellent; especially for the scenes in and around the reservoir. The pace is lightning fast and the premise feels like it could easily happen. While some of the action scenes are a little excessive for one person to handle with such resilience, the story worked for me. Themes include family, power, protecting others, politics, greed, and much more. While here is some technical information on weapons, there isn’t an inordinate amount of detail. My one quibble was the beginning of the book had a few chapters that were in a different time-line and this wasn’t obvious until later.

Overall, this is a riveting, intense, and violent story that is disquieting and unsettling at times, but also has some tender moments. I recommend this series to those who like political, action, espionage, and military thrillers. The action scenes combined with great characters and a well-written plot make this novel a must read for thriller readers. While this series is best read in order, this one worked as a standalone novel for me. I can’t wait to find out what is next for Josh and Nicole.

Berkley Publishing Group and Mark Greaney provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently expected to be June 25, 2024.

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