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The Break Line

Ant Middleton meets Capture or Kill, Tom Marcus

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


'Breathless, complex and seriously hardcore' Lee Child

'A thriller of an unusually classy calibre. Eloquently written, intensively researched ... Brabazon has crafted hugely gripping, thought-provoking yarn, ground its outlandish elements in solid realism and vivid characterisation' Financial Times

'War correspondent James Brabazon brings his experience of the world's most dangerous places to this brutally compelling thriller . . .' Mail on Sunday

Officially Max McLean doesn't exist.

The British government denies all knowledge of the work he does on their behalf to keep us safe. But Max and his masters are losing faith in each other. And they give him one last chance to prove he's still their man.

Sent to a military research facility to meet a former comrade-in-arms, Max finds the bravest man he ever knew locked up for his own protection. His friend lost his mind during an operation in West Africa. The reason? Absolute mortal terror.

Max is determined to find out why.

Ahead lies a perilous, breath taking mission into the unknown that will call into question everything that Max once believed in.

Acting alone, without back-up, Max lands in Sierra Leone with his friend's last words ringing in his ears: 'They're coming, Max. They're coming . . .'

The Break Line is a thriller dripping with authenticity, menace and first-hand knowledge of the frontline. Smart, unputdownable and packed with irresistible set pieces and jaw-dropping plot twists, this is a thriller like no other.

'The Break Line plunges you into the most extraordinary and exciting world of covert operations . . . with a terrifyingly precise eye and an irresistible prose style, he creates a world that is almost impossible to leave. I'm still waiting for the choppers to come and take me home' Sebastian Junger

'A taut, razor-edged thriller, packed with granular detail and authenticity' James Swallow, bestselling author of Nomad

'It is insanely immersive, brilliantly blurring the lines between fiction and reality. I couldn't put it down' Tom Marcus, bestselling author of Soldier Spy

'The Breakline is a distillation of a quarter of a century of travel with a camera in one hand and a notebook in the other' Mail on Sunday

From Publishers Weekly

22 October 2018 – British documentarian Brabazon (My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir) makes his fiction debut with an adrenaline-charged thriller. Soon after Max McLean, who has been an off-the-books assassin for the British government for more than two decades, decides not to kill his target in Caracas, Venezuela, he receives another assignment. He must travel to Karabunda, a jungle outpost in northern Sierra Leone, and kill the white leader of an insurgent force without backup or access to the usual intel. Max poses as a doctor to scout the remote area, only to discover that the military has closed off the entire region, claiming a cholera outbreak. He learns, though, that the dead have been savaged, some dismembered or eviscerated, with human bite marks left on the bodies. Later, in Freetown, he recovers a message left for him by a comrade-in-arms with a phrase in Irish that translates as "kill them all." Brabazon's inventive violence, mix of combat styles, and slowly revealed truths will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Customer Reviews

Gruesome and graphic but action packed!

The last James Brabazon book I read was My Friend the Mercenary and I found it interesting but terrifying. The reality of war is never pleasant and often graphic. And Brabazon does not shy away from depicting graphic and disgustingly gruesome scenes.

The Break Line is an action packed thriller with a bit of everything including the creation of a “superhuman” weapon.

At times this was enthralling and left me unable to put it down but at others, it was slow and drawn out. The main protagonist is an assassin, not someone you would necessarily like but you can’t help but root for him to triumph in this messed up mission.

The writing style was ok but sometimes felt broken and used too much military jargon for my taste. The plot was well planned out, with strategically placed plot twists to keep me on my toes but felt a bit fantastical and unreal on occasion.

If you’re a fan of this genre and of writers such as Andy McNab I’m sure you’ll love this book, however it’s not for the faint-hearted.

For me it was a 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ read.

The Break Line releases on 26th July 2018.

Thank you to the NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy. All opinions are my own and provided willingly.

The Break Line
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  • £7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Action & Adventure
  • Published: 26 July 2018
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Version: 1.1.0
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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