Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair

I’m a massive fan of Rob Sinclair’s novels and though I’m a bit late to the party, I finally got round to reading Sleeper 13. I had high expectations about this novel and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s the blurb:

Smuggled to the Middle East as a child.

Trained as one of the most elite insurgents of his generation.

Forced to do things no one should, for a cause he couldn’t believe in.

But as his brothers were preparing to kill, he was looking for a way out.

Now, on the eve of the deadliest coordinated attacks the world has ever seen, he finally has his chance.

He will break free and hunt down those who made him a monster.

He must draw on all his training to survive.

He is Sleeper 13.

Sleeper 13 is a brilliant, cleverly written thriller which doesn’t hold back on the goriness. At one particular point, I actually thought I might be sick. Now that’s a powerful narrative that can give so much graphic detail that it has such a visceral effect. This book is certainly not for the faint-hearted but nor does it contain gruesome scenes gratuitously. They are strategically placed to show the scale of the depravity of Aydin and his brothers.

As always, Sinclair writes intelligently and this book reflects well the threat of terrorism in our society. 

Sinclair challenges the reader to look at things from the point of view of someone who was sent to a terrorist training camp as a child, and I did feel sympathy for the main character, Aydin, at various points in the story. He makes the wrong decisions at times and uses excess violence at will, but the flashbacks portray the indoctrination of these young boys to be cold, calculated and aggressive, which adds, perhaps, a previously unconsidered perspective.

Sinclair also illuminates the red tape involved in obtaining intelligence on terrorist activity. Rachel Cox is a great character, tenacious and not bound by rules where she feels it would be better to break them to get results. She’s a clever woman who sees the bigger picture where Aydin is concerned, when her boss and even Aydin himself, does not. She’s the perfect counter-balance to Aydin.

It didn’t take me long to read this book and I found it to be a fascinating and enjoyable read. If you like a thriller and you’re not squeamish, I would highly recommend this book. I look forward to Fugitive 13, when that comes out in March.