Monday, March 1, 2021

"All Fall Down"

James Brabazon is an author, frontline-journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in the UK, he has travelled to over 70 countries – investigating, filming and directing in the world's most hostile environments. He is the author of the international bestseller My Friend the Mercenary, a memoir recounting his experiences of the Liberian civil war and the Equatorial Guinea coup plot; and the Max McLean series of spy thrillers The Break Line and Arkhangel (UK) / All Fall Down (USA).

Brabazon applied the Page 69 Test to Arkhangel and reported the following:
On page 69, Max McLean, the Irish spy-assassin protagonist in All Fall Down, has woken up injured in hospital in England, after escaping his captors at sea. As he pieces the details of what has happened to him back together, the realisation dawns that whoever is hunting him is at most a day behind…

I opened All Fall Down to page 69 in trepidation… but as a window on to the propulsive narrative that keeps Max Mclean on his toes and on the move, it works really well. Max and the reader are both in the same boat – neither knowing how is after Max, or why… or how, indeed, Max will manage to escape this time, or to where. Escape. Evasion. Menace. These are the hallmarks of the entire book – and although the whys and wherefores become more nuanced and sophisticated as the plot develops, that raw sense of fight or flight pervades the entire text right until the very end!

One of the core elements of All Fall Down is what happens when the hunter becomes the hunted. Max McLean belongs to an ultra-secret black ops unit called the UKN – an off-the-books outfit that carries out assassinations and other deniable operations for the British Government. But after a routine hit on a terrorist goes disastrously wrong, Max finds himself on the wrong end of a state-sponsored manhunt. As he goes to ground, literally underground at times, he’s forced to face uncomfortable truths about his deep past, his real motivations, and his loyalty to a cause and a country that seem to have turned against him. What you read on page 69 is the beginning of the full horror of what Max is up against stating to take shape. Wounded, exhausted, confused – does Max have the reserves it will take to outrun the Angel of Death?
Visit James Brabazon's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Break Line.

My Book, The Movie: The Break Line.

My Book, The Movie: All Fall Down.

--Marshal Zeringue