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The Last Guardian

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Simon Gervais is one of my favorite authors and his ability to bring authenticity and detail to his stories keeps him at that elite action writer level. This is a great finale to the series.

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I have not been a big Gervais fan until the Clayton White Series. This new series has an addictive story line and characters that a thriller reader will get attached to. In The Last Guardian, Clayton is once again sucked, kicking and screaming, into the abyss of President Alexander Hamilton's shenanigans. The action is non-stop. The writing excellent. This would be a great series to hunker down with this Christmas.

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The Last Guardian by Simon Gervais
Clayton White #3

Fast-paced action-packed beginning that grabbed my attention and introduced the fentanyl issue that would lead to a global story filled with villains and good guys pitting themselves against one another.

What I liked:
* Clayton White: lethal, loyal, bright, advisor-observer for US president, loves his pregnant fiancé Veronica, seems to find himself in the midst of trouble more often than not
* Veronica Hammond: Clayton’s pregnant and loving fiancé, owner of tech company, good friend, ambitious, intelligent
* The plot, pacing, settings, and writing
* The look at international and political intrigue
* The multi-level complex threads woven together to create the story
* Not always knowing who was good and who was evil, the evil characters could be male or female and were not all from the same country
* That the darker aspects of the story were not entirely glossed over and that both good and evil could be targeted and lose their lives
* Thinking about political intrigue and being glad I am not involved in it
* Knowing that this was fiction though parts of it could actually happen in real life
* Wondering what will happen in book four

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Thinking about the way those in power abuse it and the impact on those who suffer at their hands

Did I like this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4-5 Stars

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Holy cow this book moves fast. I could not put it down until it was done. Loved everything about it! The characters are wonderful and everything you want them to be. I love the twists and turns this story took. It totally grabbed my attention from the beginning. I didn't realize this was book 3 in the series, but I will be catching up on it while I am waiting for the next one.

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The Last Guardian is book 3 in the Clayton White series by Simon Gervais was a pulse-pounding ride from start to finish.
The story is fast-paced from the beginning and never ceases till the last page. It's suspenseful and intriguing with some violent scenes. But that's what actually makes it a stellar read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

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The Last Guardian Simon Gervais
Once again Clayton White must deal with threats towards those he loves and the United States of America. The bad guys have decided to try to use drug smuggling techniques to try and sneak some missiles in to shoot down several airplanes. Fortunately, a long-hidden asset provides enough clues to shed light on the scheme. Clayton is very analytical in assessing his situation, support and foes. A very entertaining tale by Simon Gervais. #TheLastGuardian

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Clayton White is THE badass to beat all badasses! I read books 1-2 for this ARC and I am so glad that I did b/c there is so much backstory that would be lost if I hadn't. I love his relationship w/his fiancee and how excited he is to be a father. This author does a great job with the nuances of the relationship Clay has with his future father-in-law and all of their history.

I can't wait for the next installment! Simon Gervais is an author that I am adding to my always-read list!


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Book Review – The Last Guardian – Simon Gervais
“The Last Guardian” thriller by French Canadian author Simon Gervais is Book 3 in the Clayton White series and is just as ‘electrifying’ as the previous other two. Gervais’ globetrotting storytelling, volatile action passages, and suspenseful surprises, were wrapped around well-developed characters and well written text. This is a stunning and stimulating thrill ‘read!’ As main character, Clayton White, the former Secret Service agent sifts through layers of deception and deceit to uncover the truth behind the FBI director’s assassination, his investigation leads to a drug cartel that has a lot to do with the fentanyl crisis in the United States. Begrudgingly - upon the request of the president – White leads a task force to tackle the fentanyl epidemic but eventually finds out who was behind the FBI director’s assassination as well as other political duplicities and a terrorist plot. White consequently works vigorously to avert a possible worldwide disaster in this fast-paced, high intensity thriller. This narrative is a riveting, ‘race-against-the-clock’, political crime thriller that was very well written and skillfully told. A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon Gervais for the autographed advance reader’s copy of The Last Guardian.

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Clayton White is back in another gripping and complex thriller.

As the world is on a knife edge with Russia firmly entrenched in Ukraine and China circling Taiwan.

However, one of the only stabilising forces is new President Hamilton. Clayton's soon to be father-in-law and the man who murdered his dad.

But for the sake of his fiancee and the country Clayton is keeping quiet and working with Hamilton in the White House. After all, don't they say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

And when the President requires White to head to the US Virgin Islands to meet with the director of the FBI, Clayton invites his fiancee Veronica along for a relaxing break before the birth of their first child.

Yet, things don't quite go to plan when the director, his family and most of his protection are assassinated and White and Hamilton want answers.

And the danger doesn't stop there. As a plan has been put into motion for an attack on U.S. soil, using weapons the U.S. left behind when withdrawing from Afghanistan. All so China with the help of Russia can invade Taiwan.

That is, unless Clayton can stop them whilst also keeping Veronica safe.

And with a fast-paced storyline, plenty of twists and turns. This was a truly enjoyable and entertaining read. That genuinely kept me on my toes, and I would happily recommend it to all.

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I received an ARC through "NetGalley" and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

This story begins with Clayton on the scene of a drug bust. He was not to play a role in the takedown, but things didn't go down well. Clayton and his partner wound up facing off against 3 of the individuals involved with drugs.

A few days later, Clayton is asked by POTUS to meet with the FBI Director regarding the Red Dragon Triad. Since it was just a meeting, he took his fiancée, the President's daughter, with him. While having dinner he had to handle of situation in the bar and later, gun fire was heard. Clayton had Veronica, his fiancée, taken to a safe area by her Secret Service detail and he went to find out about what the gun fire was about.

A few months later, Clayton and Veromica traveled to Davos wher Veronica was to give a presentation. Unknown to them, there was a group that wanted to shoot their plane down once they departed. At the same time, an American was kidnapped and Clayton made arrangements to try and rescue him. Once again he was supposed to be safe, but while the rescue was taking place, gun fire broke out and his FBI partner was shot.

To find out what happened regarding the FBI visit, who was intent on bringing their plane down, what the importance of the kidnapped American was and how these episodes tied back to the drug bust, then you need to read this book.

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Another good book by Simon Gervais. It starts off fast and doesn't let up. The story has it's fingers in the fentanyl crisis, the Russian war, China and Taiwan not to mention Clayton White's weird/strained/semi-normal relationship with his future father-in-law, The President of the United States. It is well written with plenty of action but for me, something is missing. I can't quite put my finger on it. Which is strange because I love everything Gervais has published. I like the Clayton White series; I just don't love it.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Last Guardian.

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A powerful and shocking start to The Last Guardian by Simon Gervais gets readers immediate attention. Action, suspense, intrigue, and danger keep this novel moving at fast pace. President Alexander Hammond has set fighting the drug epidemic in the United States as a priority and the man he trusts to lead the fight is Clayton White. Assassinations, secret identities, and betrayals are only the beginning.

Clayton is a former air force combat rescue officer and former Secret Service agent who is now a special assistant to the president for the Office of Special Projects. He’s courageous, loyal, treats others fairly, and he’s a great shot. His biggest flaw seems to be getting irritated quickly when forced to wait. He’s a man of action. His character has seen growth during the series. The secondary characters have differing levels of depth, but it was sufficient for their roles.

The novel has aspects of espionage and political thrillers and has diverse settings that include southern California, Washington D. C., Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Macau, Monaco, and Switzerland. While most of the story is from Clayton’s point of view, it switches to other characters as well. The plot is multi-layered and complex with a narrative that is suspenseful and action-filled throughout. The author’s military and federal experiences are reflected in the well-crafted action scenes that felt genuine.

There is a strong sense of good versus evil throughout the novel. My biggest quibble is that most of the settings could have been almost anywhere. I only occasionally get a strong sense of place. Despite this, the story kept me engaged from the first chapter to its conclusion. The story line is gripping and keeps your attention throughout the novel. The author does a great job of bringing together the various aspects of the story into a cohesive tale. Geopolitical conflicts that help enable drug, human, and weapons trafficking are highlighted in this book. The mixture of international politics and domestic problems works well in this novel. There are ever-present threats looming that kept me rapidly turning the pages. Readers should be aware that there are some violent scenes depicted.

Overall, this book was suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, and entertaining. If you enjoy political and action thrillers with a strong lead character, then this may be the series for you. The combination of an entertaining story line and lots of action makes this an intoxicating novel. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. These novels are hard to put down.

Thomas & Mercer and Simon Gervais provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for October 10, 2023. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

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Simon Gervais holds nothing back with the hard-hitting action and excitement in The Last Guardian. Building off Clayton White’s prowess for stopping tragedy, Gervais highlights the ever-growing geopolitical conflicts that enable the drug and weapons black market to flow into borders across the world.

Clayton White is back stopping bad guys when a hit on a house at the Mexican-United States border finds a stockpile of fentanyl. Battling the drug war at the United States border is one priority for the newly minted yet hated President Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton and White have a highly confrontational relationship which creates animosity at the utmost level.

Oceans away Henry Newman, an American entrepreneur and casino owner, is busy looking over his properties in Macau, China when he’s hit with an obligation of epic proportions. While White has a run in and battle with a former teammate named Ian Miller, Newman is forced to help create instability and terror in America. White and team must act quickly to prevent the wrath of the Red Dragon Triad who have spread their wings outside the borders of the People’s Republic of China.

Gervais is on the up and up - tying-in news headlines and government failure that play right into the hands of the bad guys. His creativity and well-built story lines create a vivid adventure that provides the high intensity that we have come to expect from his novels.

Gervais has become a staple of my reading over the last decade as he continues to drum out electrifying thrillers left and right. Clayton White isn’t his first main character that is deserving of the praise he receives, but he has taken White and his escapades to new heights. White’s history with the President and his relationship with the President's daughter adds a salacious vibe while having action that bleeds Clancy and Thor. Simon Gervais is someone you should have on your to be read list every year with how much passion that he devotes to his craft. I can’t give him enough credit for his meteoric rise and impression he’s made on the thriller world and this is another homerun.

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Clayton White is back and must avert a major conspiracy to reshape the world order in The Last Guardian. Simon Gervais delivers another pulse-pounding, blood rushing, race against the clock thriller that will keep you in suspense and leave you winded.

Clayton White is on top of the world. Following his viral moment from the sensational takedown of an Iranian intelligence asset, he's working directly for the president while expecting his first child with the love of his life. But the fentanyl epidemic is claiming lives every day and the President has asked him to meet with the FBI director to discuss an investigation into the Red Dragon Triad drug cartel. However, right before the meeting is to occur, the director is assassinated and White puts his life on the line to chase down the perpetrators. What he uncovers is a plot that goes much higher than a cartel and puts thousands of innocent Americans – and his growing family – in danger. With secret identities, traitorous behaviors and wicked plots at every turn, Clayton White must risk everything to protect the country and people he loves from becoming victims of unbearable tragedy.

The Last Guardian takes several hot topics of today – the fentanyl crisis, the Russian war against Ukraine, China’s desire for Taiwan, divisive US politics – and melds them into a gripping tale that feels too real and quite possibly predicts future events. Add in duplicitous characters (some with ambiguous loyalties), rousing shootouts across the globe and a bunch of Stinger surface-to-air missiles in enemy hands, and this future is one we’d be best to avoid.

Additionally, it appears Clayton White is at a crossroads. He is critical to the national security of the United States and won’t stop running headfirst into danger. But he’s also about to be a dad and needs to evaluate his choice of profession. An internal struggle that Simon Gervais wonderfully addresses and allows to unfold throughout the book, making White relatable and empathetic while he shoots bad guys in the face.

Electric and absorbing, The Last Guardian is another must read from the venerable Simon Gervais. Yet again, picking up his latest book is several hours very well spent.

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In this action-packed installment of the Clayton White series, China is determined, with some help from Russia, to blind the US to its takeover of Taiwan. This close-to-fact premise results in a chase across continents featuring double agents, betrayal, murder, and compromise.

This can be read as a standalone, but to truly understand the dynamic between Clayton and Veronica's father, you should read the first two books. These are easy, fast reads with likeable characters and good action.

I enjoyed this book, and readers of this genre will too.

Not family friendly due to violence.

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Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for this arc. This was a great action packed book, with a great plot

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action-adventure, spec-ops, series, law-enforcement, drug-trafficking, terrorists, relationships, thriller, federal-agents, Canadian-author, fast-pace, riveting, unputdownable, espionage, murder, assassins*****

This thrill ride takes White to China, Newfoundland, USA, Switzerland in a mad rush to abort criminal transport of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs by profiteer entities. There is also plenty of backstory, but the action takes precedence and that swept me along right to the end (in the middle of the night).
I requested and received an EARC from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley. Thank you

Canadian author former RCMP

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This book is much better than the last in the series, with an interesting and up-to-date plot. The characters are very good, and the pace is excellent. An entertaining and easy to read book.

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In The Last Guardian, we are told that "Amid a series of secret identities, betrayals, and terrorist plots, Clayton White must join forces with allies he’s not sure he can trust to save the country he’s sworn to protect and the family he’s vowed to love."
Clayton is an ex-Secret Service agent and the President, he suspects, is responsible for his father's death. Add in a Chinese triad, a crooked real estate magnate, bad guy Russians and some sexy women, one would expect that we are off to the races. And it's true that there are action scenes in the novel, along with people who are not who they say they are.
In my opinion, it's kind of a mess. I had to read the novel over again to try to make sense of it. I had forgotten much of it already. But in the final read I was able to enjoy much of what the author was doing. It was a bizarre plot involving bizarre people and situations. Some of the settings were interesting.
Bottom line- It's an okay novel that may take more patience than a thriller deserves to be thrilling.
Thanks, NetGalley for the ARC.

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Simon Gervais delivers an exhilarating and action-packed thriller in "The Last Guardian," the latest installment in the Clayton White series. Former Secret Service agent Clayton White takes center stage once again as he tackles the daunting task of combating the fentanyl epidemic while navigating a web of deception and danger.

Gervais masterfully crafts a fast-paced narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. The stakes are high as White's investigation into the Red Dragon Triad drug cartel takes an unexpected turn, leading to the assassination of the FBI director. White's determination to uncover the truth and protect his loved ones propels the story forward, while his complex and evolving character adds depth to the narrative.

The author expertly blends elements of suspense, action, and political intrigue, creating a thrilling ride that keeps readers guessing at every turn. The plot is intricately woven, with secret identities, betrayals, and terrorist plots intertwining to create a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Gervais's attention to detail and well-researched depiction of the fentanyl crisis add an extra layer of realism to the story.

"The Last Guardian" is a standout book of the year, showcasing Gervais's talent for crafting compelling and pulse-pounding thrillers. With its relentless pacing and engaging characters, this novel is a must-read for fans of the genre. Simon Gervais continues to solidify his position as a master of the political thriller, leaving readers eagerly anticipating what Clayton White will face next.

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