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Rogue - Book Review

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Published June 10th 2012
Mark T Sullivan may be known as a co-author of a thriller having the upcoming London Olympics as a backdrop, a collaboration with James Patterson, but it is his creation Rogue that may steal the show after all.

Sullivan presents us with Robin Monarch, one of the top assets of the Central Intelligence Agency. Monarch's backstory is fleshed out in the prequel short story Brotherhood but it is in Rogue that he gets his own full-length novel. Monarch is part of a team sent by Jack Slattery to a munitions warehouse in Istanbul to recover some information regarding Al-Qaeda operations. What he finds, however, is quite the opposite and enough to turn him off being a government intelligence operative. He disappears off the radar despite Slattery's tight surveillance and resurfaces in Switzerland as a security consultant cum jewel thief.

One night, a jewel heist goes wrong and he finds himself forced back into the mission he walked out on two years ago. He discovers that there is a top secret weapon prototype that a number of powerful and well-connected individuals, including a US congressman who was Slattery's old college mate, are desperately seeking. With two weeks to track down the prototype, Monarch has to gather his old team for the mission of a lifetime. Using his cunning, he manages to con all parties concerned and spirit the prototype to a safe place, much to the fury of the US government, who orders his capture.

Potential big hit: Mark T Sullivan's Rogue, the next possible blockbuster after Mission: Impossible

However, it is not the Americans who get to him, but a group linked to a shady dictator of a former Soviet republic. Monarch's old team learns of his capture and manage to rescue him before he is due to be executed. They manage to expose Slattery and his backers during an Intelligence Committee hearing at Capitol Hill. What follows could then be described as poetic justice.

Sullivan's description of Buenos Aires's worst slum is heart-wrenching at best. Not to mention his detailed knowledge of particle mechanics. Furthermore, Jack Slattery's sexual fantasies may be hilarious but they make him all the more human. It will not surprise anyone if Rogue gets adapted into a movie and manages to match the performance of Mission: Impossible. After all, Gregg Hurwitz calls this book "Jason Bourne meets Robin Hood with a dash of Bond thrown in". Other political thriller authors, including Vince Flynn, have used the dodgy spy chief as a key plot device, but nobody does it like Sullivan. What we thus have is a suspenseful page-turner with non-stop explosive action. Hence, reading this book is like reading a movie.

Sam Worthington would be great as Robin Monarch, while Denzel Washington may cut it as CIA director Dr Willis Hopkins. Lucy Liu and Michelle Rodrigues should be right for Monarch's team-mates Ellen Yin and Chanel Chavez respectively.
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Why? Robin Hood meets Jason Bourne with a touch of Bond.
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