Thursday, 17 June 2010

Quantum Breach by Mark Powell

Quantum BreachAs Mark McCabe observed the financial market meltdown in the Dealing Room, his nerves tight and on edge, he felt too old for the game. At 45, why the hell was he doing this, putting himself under such stress, and for what? It had been eight years since he left the regiment. Forex trading was a world in which he felt he did not belong. The adrenaline that fed his veins was risk of a different kind.
Then he receives a call from Brian Stowe, a former Special Forces buddy, now MI5 spook. A suspected money-laundering plot linked to a drug cartel was going on in the very bank that he works. Stowe enlists McCabe and his Singaporean assistant, the highly intelligent and very attractive Ying Lee, a 26-year-old trader, to uncover the money trails.
The chase leads to a terrorist cell known to McCabe from his own murky past, and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse across Asia and the Middle East ensues. Along the way, questions are raised and loyalties become suspect. How is the British government involved? Who is this shadowy MI6 informer, the Rain Angel? Is she with them - or is she against them?
My thoughts: This was a thrilling adventure story set around the international banking world. The money-laundering scam was interesting, I don't know much about the financial world, but everything was explained in a way that I could understand. The investigation, and ultimately the conclusion, were well set up by the author. Although there were hints along the way, the ending was still a surprise for me.
There were some torture scenes, which were a bit uncomfortable to read in places, but not too gruesome.
The characters were well developed, and the author did a great job of introducing aspects of each characters' past that helped to understand why they act the way they do in the book.
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of action and was never boring. I thought it was a really good first novel, and I was really pleased that Mark decided to send it to me for review. He even signed it for me too:

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