I will confess I am a fan of Carl Rackman’s books but somehow missed the first book in this series, Voyager. Nevertheless, I plowed ahead and discovered that the author covered enough of the high points from Voyager that I could hit the ground running. Sentinal did not disappoint me.
Four years have passed since Voyager One sent back chilling photos of a spaceship from deep in interstellar space. However, with terrorism, pandemics and political turmoil consuming the news, the story faded to the back page and the public has accepted it as a hoax. All but the Triumvirate, a global and powerful conspiracy that has inserted itself into the highest levels of various governments. They have created a wall of subterfuge so they themselves can welcome the Visitors, the occupants of the spaceship, who are coming with sinister plans.
Countering the Triumvirate are the strong characters typical of Rackman’s writing: Matt Ramprakash, former airline pilot and now an officer of the British intelligence agency MI5; his wife, Callie Woolf, who once headed the Voyager One mission and who believes that the spaceship is not a hoax; former FBI agent Brad Barnes who now leads Sentinel, a private intelligence and counter-terrorism operation founded to counter the Triumvirate; and Alex Ephraim, a superhuman soldier, thought to be genetically engineered, and a former Triumvirate assassin who has switched sides to join Sentinel.
The story opens a little slowly, which is where I think it could have been improved, but then starts to pick up speed until by the end, the reader is reading and flipping pages as fast as possible. The action scenes are meticulously plotted and easy to visualize and employ incredible technology. From a diversionary airplane hijacking to action on the icy cold and barren reaches of Antarctica, this suspense thriller pulls you in and then delivers a solid punch with a science fiction twist, leading directly to a third book in this series. Which I await.
This is a cracking good read.
About the author
Carl Rackman is a former airline pilot with interests in seafaring and mysteries and lives in Surrey, UK. Since he spent his working life travelling the world, he has developed a keen interest in other people and cultures. And he’s drawn on his many experiences for his writing.
He primarily writes suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. He tries to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story. He also comes a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring – all his books usually contain some of these elements. His reading is multi-genre – historical, sci-fi, fantasy and techno – but psychological thrillers are prime. He started writing in 2016 and is picking up steam!
You can reach him
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rackmanbooks/
and at https://carlrackman.com
Sentinel is available on Amazon: