by Dan Wood
‘Ignatius’ is a gripping and highly engaging novel, full of gritty details, that captures the imagination from the start, and offers dramatic insights into a world most of us never see. Ex Special Forces and Intelligence Services Operative, Ignatius Winter, is living a rough, hand-to-mouth existence, using the only skills he knows, to earn money any way he can. Then one day he is framed for the assassination of a high-level Chinese Government Official at the historic London Houses of Parliament. Winter has made many enemies over the years and it soon becomes clear he will need to defeat some immensely powerful adversaries if he wants to stay alive.
This book had been on my shelf for a couple of weeks before I picked it up. I could instantly tell from the cover that this was going to be a fast paced book that would demand my attention as soon as I started and I felt that I needed to be in the right mood to give it the time it deserved. I’m so glad to say that I was right. ‘Ignatius’ is a real page turner and one I sped through in just a couple of days.
I have to be honest and say I’m not really sure how you even pronounce ‘Ignatius’, but it’s the first name of this book’s leading character. Ignatius Winter is ex Special Forces and he used to be an Intelligence Services Operative. These days, however, Ignatius finds himself in a far less fortunate existence, living from payday to payday. Oh, and then he’s framed for the assassination of a member of the Chinese government and the whole world is looking for him. Not exactly what Ignatius needed at this point in his life!
This was a really great read that kept me on my toes. Ignatius seeks the help of his former colleagues and friends to try and keep himself under wraps at first and then doing what he can to clear his name.
Meanwhile, Sahira Basha, Intelligence Officer for MI5, is tasked with investigating the assassination. I loved Sahira and she was by far my favourite character. She’s a very wealthy young woman, living in a penthouse at One Hyde Park. She has multiple fancy cars and she pays for membership at a gym despite having one in her own building, just because she doesn’t want to talk to her neighbours whilst working out. She orders room service from a luxury 5 star hotel for dinner and she’s always doing yoga and drinking smoothies. She sounds pretty unlikable, right? But she’s not! Author Dan Wood has given Sahira a wonderful personality and I really liked her involvement in this story. Sahira has a hunch that Ignatius is not responsible for this crime and sets to work trying to find out who was involved.
Both main characters are strong and likeable. The supporting characters are pretty good too, particularly Ignatius’ former colleagues Ricky and Justin. I also always love reading about places I know and find that this gives me an extra level of connection with a book. It always makes me smile how many authors reference the Sainsbury’s car park in Balham! I might start keeping a record!
It’s very clear that this book was well researched and I praise the author for that. There are so very many details that have gone into this book, from the value and age of buildings to the sizes of bullets and even some technical details about weapons and armour. This is a very accessible book though, so don’t be put off by the fact it’s all about Intelligence Services. It’s not complicated and full of jargon, the author has done a great job of helping his reader understand everything in lay person terms. My one and only criticism of this book is actually that at times there was a little too much detail and explanation in places where I think my imagination could have taken over on it’s own.
Overall rating: ‘Ignatius’ by Dan Wood is an exciting page turner that I really enjoyed. It’s well detailed and has plenty of chapter cliff hangers that’ll make you want to keep reading. The characters are likeable and I hope this isn’t the last we see of this pairing. I’m giving ‘Ignatius’ a great big 5 stars!
Thank you to the author Dan Wood for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.