Cover Image: The Shadow Network

The Shadow Network

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Another excellent read from this author. The evil puppet master, The Monk, is behind a very long game of many moving parts. A page turner which I thoroughly recommend.

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“The Shadow Network” by Tony Kent is an espionage rollercoaster you won’t want to get off. This fast-paced thriller throws you headfirst into a world of long-dormant Russian sleeper agents, their tendrils wrapped around some of the world’s most pressing issues. The author masterfully crafts a scenario that’s not just thrilling, but chillingly believable.

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the plot, “The Shadow Network” throws in a delicious twist, keeping you guessing until the very satisfying – and surprising – end. This one is perfectly primed for a streaming service adaptation.

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Thanks to Elliot & Thompson and NetGalley for ARC.

This is a wild ride - impossibly convoluted conspiracies? Check. Shadowy quasi-governmental agencies with unlimited budgets and no oversight? Check. Buddies against all the odds? Check? Stoic women and children waiting at home to be rescued in one way or another? Check. Tense stakeouts? International travel to European and North American locations? Bone crunching violence? Unfeasibly high body counts with no apparent consequences? Check. If that's your kind of thing - dive right in, don't stop to think about it.
This thriller is number 5 in a series, and I felt that having a bit more information and an understanding of the backstory would have helped. However, I enjoyed it. Will backtrack before I tackle number 6 though.

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A very good thriller, fast paced and well written. I really donl't like these super-human heroes though. Too much of a Reacher (sic).

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What a great story,it starts quite small and then just keeps growing.
The main characters piece together that an arch manipulator is in place but who or what is the end game.
Thoroughly enjoyed the read and definitely worth a try

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Another enjoyable adventure in this series featuring Dempsey and Devlin. This fast- paced story of complex international crime keeps the reader engaged throughout. I look forward to the next in the series.
My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance copy of this book.

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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It is an enjoyable read, although far-fetched and over-written in places. Not his best book.

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A public massacre masking a targeted hit, shadowy networks and conspiracies, a near-mythical foreign agent that’s been pulling global strings for decades; British barrister and former boxing champion Tony Kent’s latest thriller certainly packs a wallop.

The fifth instalment in his very good series starring Northern Irish-born lawyer Michael Devlin and deadly United Nations intelligence agent Joe Dempsey, The Shadow Network sees the pair called to action for personal reasons after a mass shooting at the Grote Markt in the heart of The Hague, where lawyers for an alleged war criminal are gunned down as part of a massacre. They become further entwined in conspiracy and international intrigue as they try to find the mystery man the lawyers were meeting and protect his stateside wife – Dempsey’s long-ago lover – from deadly assassins doing the bidding of ‘the Monk’, a foreign agent many believe is more rumour than reality. Things get complicated by the various agencies who get in on the action, including the CIA.

Kent maintains a high tempo while providing some fascinating characters and set-pieces; the pages whir by on a litany of secrets and lies, double-crosses and cover-ups, fight scenes and action. Readers who love action-packed crime ala Lee Child or the globe-trotting spy thrills of the likes of Ludlum and Forsyth really should give Tony Kent’s books a whirl. There’s lots to savour; like any great boxer, a blend of brawn and brains.

[This review was first written for Good Reading magazine]

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Stunning, action driven but also propelled by relations among the characters ,, from Kon, who unwittingly holds crucial info to Eden and her management of family ... thr massacre openingbthe book is terrifying, but Kent paces things well, giving us breathers among the zooming events and discovery of the mysterious Monk .. I'm not 'sold,' on deep elite conspiracy theories, but this imagining of it seems scarily persuasive... Dempsey and Devlin : I may need to dig into earlier books in the series to get a fuller sense of relationship Dempsey and Devlin because a lot is assumed...

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Thank you NetGalley and Elliott & Thompson for this eCopy to review

The Shadow Network is a compulsive read, and fast paced so keeps your attention. I was hooked racing to find out what happened next.

Michael and Joe's relationship is excellent they are a likeable pair and you genuinely want them to succeed. This time they are trying to stop The Monk's deadly conspiracy. Full of intrigue secrets and lies it's hard to know what is true

A great political thriller

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Thank you Elliot and Thompson for sending me a review copy of this novel.

I have never read any novels by Tony Kent and definitely thoroughly enjoyed it. This novel kept me up late at night, telling myself to read onw more chapter after finishing each one. It seemed to be a series book, and having not read the ones before it, I did not feel lost or felt like I needed to read the others to know exactly what was going on. I would recomend this book to thrill seakers and political thrill readers.
I enjoyed the back and forth of narrators throughout the book. I will be looking to read those prior to this book in this series.

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Thank you to the author, Elliott & Thompson and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is the fifth book in a series, and the first book I've read by this author. The writing is atmospheric and the story is engrossing and a quick read, moving at breakneck speed - and there is no problem reading this as a stand-alone. However, I wish I had done a bit more research before requesting, as this is a book I would normally not read due to the extreme amount of gratuitous violence. Great f0r fans of the Jack Reacher series, but not my cup of tea.

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This is the 5th book in the Dempsey / Devlin series and I have read books 3, 4 + 5 in just a few weeks since I discovered them. They are a great action packed pair. I see some reviews say this is the 'new Jack Reacher' and funnily enough I've been watching the first series of Reacher and that was who I was picturing whilst reading these books.
I look forward to the next outing of the pair and their team.

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With the power and speed of an energiser bunny Tony Kent goes from a relaxing back yard post christening party into a massacre at The Hague in this pulse-pounding dramatic thriller that is both engaging and immersive.

What I love about this series is the strong bond of friendship between barrister Michael Devlin and Joe Dempsey of the UN’s International Security Bureau. When all the chips are down and you don’t know who to trust, these men will always have each other’s backs, no questions asked.

Dempsey is chilling at the home of Sarah and Michael just hours after taking on the responsibility of being godfather to Michael and his journalist wife Sarah’s twin boys. They learn of a supposed terrorist attack which one of Michael’s colleagues, Will Duffy, has been caught up in and badly injured.

Using Dempsey’s ISB resources the pair are soon on their way to Amsterdam to find Will and make sure he can return home safely. But this is a novel in which nothing is as it seems. Soon they find themselves caught up in a deadly conspiracy. At the heart of that conspiracy is a shadowy figure known as The Monk who runs an organisation of spies and infiltrators.

Kon Frankowski is a man Dempsey is all too aware of and suddenly this deadly conspiracy is both deeply personal and professional. Frankowski was with Will Duffy at the time of the attack and it quickly becomes clear that he was the real target of this assignation attempt. Now he’s in the wind, trying to keep a low profile and Dempsey and Devlin have to bring him in safely and recover the vital intelligence he has – intelligence that the Monk is willing to massacre as many people as it takes to get hold of.

Kent builds in some contemporary background to this shadow network which is beautifully judged and lends an air of authenticity to an organisation whose name reminds me of a tribe in Game of Thrones.

The CIA become involved too, but they don’t play nicely with others and Dempsey doesn’t know who he can trust so there are many twists and turns and action packed explosive moments on the way to getting to the truth.

Dempsey deploys Eden Grace to keep Frankowski’s family safe and it’s great to see her in full on action mode as this pacy, action packed, explosive thriller reaches its propulsive heights.

There are some genuinely surprising moments and some terrible misjudgements which all lead to a twisty, surprising read that leaves you breathless with the pace and dizzy with the possibilities for betrayal. When the chips are down, though, there are only a few people Dempsey can trust with his life.

Verdict: Short, sharp chapters combine with non-stop action and a deeply embedded subversive conspiracy network to produce an explosive action thriller packed with tension and with strong emotional undertones which beautifully offset the macho action. Explosive, adrenalin fuelled, surprising and immersive, The Shadow Network is a terrific read from a thriller writer who knows just how to keep his audience hooked.

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Book 5 of the series this time featuring solicitor Michael Devlin and Agent Joe Dempsey an investigator for the UN. There are a number of different protagonists in this series and they swap and change a bit, the team in America are involved this time, but from a distance. It would help to read the earlier books to understand the individuals but reads well as a stand alone book. This time one of Devlin closest friends is in The Hague when he is involved in a mass shooting, believed to be a terrorist incident. It soon becomes clear that it was a deliberate act of murder and both Devlin and Dempsey rush to Holland to find out what happened. Told from multiple POV’s this is a well written fast paced and exciting thriller.

Briefly, it appears Devlin’s friend was acting as a lawyer for an alleged war criminal Hannibal Strauss and he and another solicitor, along with some bystanders, were killed in a cafe shooting. But who are the people prepared to commit wholesale murder? Joe is surprised to find a previous adversary know as The Monk, a ghost figure, is involved.

Told from multiple POV’s this is a well written fast paced and exciting thriller. A great plot full of intrigue, secrets and lies, full of action and as always there are references to current affairs that help keep things real. Alongside the main event there are a number of other thread keeping the tension high. A very good conspiracy thriller with some good chapter end cliffhangers and great red herrings. Very entertaining read.

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This certainly has whiled away some horrible February weather.

Excellent plotting, macho characters, a lot of violence and some pretty good tension raising.

Exactly what I want in an escapist novel.

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This is the first book that I've read by Mr. Kent and I'm glad I did it! The Shadow Network is well-written, fast-paced, and kept me reading throughout the night. I love espionage stories and this one has sleeping agents, double working agents, and it focuses on the difficult relationship Russia has established with other countries, especially the USA. Thrilling and entertaining!
I thank Mr. Kent, his publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Elliott & Thompson for an advance copy of The Shadow Network, the fifth novel to feature ICB Agent Joe Dempsey and barrister Michael Devlin, set mostly in The Netherlands.

A mass shooting in The Hague brings Dempsey and Devlin to the scene, where they quickly realise that it was not a random event, but a disguised assassination orchestrated by a shadowy operative known as The Monk. With their only witness on the run and The Monk’s minions trying to kill them they can only rely on themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Shadow Network, which is a high octane read with an above average level of both violence and mistrust. Still, at the end of the day it’s all good, clean fun in the sense of see baddy, shoot him (and they’re all men) and that the good guys (not all men) are simply smarter.

The action opens with the shooting, but told mostly from the witness, Kon Frankowski’s point of view. This ratchets up the tension as he’s a civilian and is scared witless. After that there is a gradual accumulation of knowledge until the endgame plays out. This accumulation of knowledge is punctuated by various attempts on their lives, betrayal, twists and lots of bullets.

I take the general mayhem and indestructability of Dempsey and Devlin as entertainment rather than realism, but the background of the Ukrainian invasion gives it a present day realism and is the idea of an old network with rogue agents embedded all over the world so fanciful when western countries have been doing it for years? The CIA and their secretive ways add a further dimension. It all creates an interesting stew, although I don’t think The Monk’s identity is as well hidden as it could be because I guessed a bit before the unmasking. On the other hand, some of the other twists caught me by surprise.

The novel is told from various points of view with Kon Frankowski on the run in The Netherlands and and Dempsey’s number two, Eden Grace, weathering the storm in the States adding a broader perspective to events, while The Monk’s interactions with his underlings give the reader a good idea of his stone cold personality. Unfortunately this constant changing of voice gives the novel a choppy feel.

The Shadow Network is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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This is the latest in Tony Kent's explosive thriller series featuring Irish barrister Michael Devlin and Joe Dempsey of the UN's International Security Bureau. Devlin is married to journalist Sarah Truman, both now parents to baby twins, and have organised the christening of the boys. Joe has not seen his friends for some time, and zoom is hardly the same thing, he has flown in for the ceremony and to enjoy a break, having been chosen to be godfather to the boys. Whilst not certain of his suitability for the role, he falls in love with the babies on first sight, however celebrations are cut short when the wife of lawyer Will Duffy learns of a apparent horrifying 'terrorist' attack in Amsterdam, and it seems likely Duffy might have been injured or worse.

Joe rises to the situation and soon he and a deeply scared Devlin are on a flight to find out what happened to Will, who with a Hungarian lawyer, were part of a team defending notorious war criminal, Hannibal Strauss. As it happens it soon becomes clear that Joe's involvement as part of ISB is required, his presence not welcomed initially by a covert CIA team, who know Strauss's lawyers were the real targets of the deadly attack. So begins the start of non-stop breathless action scenes as Joe in particular is to be to be tested in his most challenging mission ever, along with Devlin who finds himself reclaiming the more violent side of his nature when required. Joe is shocked to find himself up against a mythological and long running legendary enemy, known as The Monk, and he may not live to tell the tale as he does his best to ensure a lover from his past is protected, the only woman he has ever lived.

There is much to admire in this global political conspiracy thriller, the complex storytelling, the short snappy chapters that ratchet the tension and suspense sky high, the never ending twists and turns, and an enemy the like of which Joe has never come across. However, for me, this addition to the series does not flow as seamlessly as the previous books, and there was a little too much repetition when it comes to the action, and at the end, The Monk as a character comes across as similar to The Wizard of Oz when he is unveiled. Having said all that, I still found this a sufficiently engaging and entertaining thriller, and I have every intention of reading the next in the series. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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No time to catch a breath in this one- the action just keeps on coming- this is edge of your seat action and I just couldn’t put the book down.
A continuation of the Joe Dempsey and Michael Devlin series, “The Shadow Network”starts innocuously enough at Devlin’s sons’ christening where Joe is to be a Godfather.
However there is a mass shooting in Holland where one of the guest’s lawyer husband is working and Michael and Joe rush over to locate Will, dead or alive and in doing so get caught up in a huge plot, run by a shadow man known as The Monk, a man who has agents everywhere and will stop at nothing to protect his network.
As those close to Joe get caught up in the danger he is forced to send his team in the US to find and protect people he cares for whilst he works out what the Monk is after.
This thriller contains almost more excitement than is good for me- I barely had time to collect my thoughts as I raced through the book.
Joe and Michael do not know who to trust as there are enemy agents everywhere and this builds the tension even more. It seems at one point that the only people they can have faith in are themselves.
This is a fast paced, cleverly plotted thriller which had me gripped from the very first page and I highly recommend it to all fans of action novels. It helps if you’ve read the previous books but it is not a prerequisite- if you haven’t you will definitely enjoy the earlier ones too.
I have no hesitation in giving “The Shadow Network” five stars and eagerly await the next one in the series.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my advance copy.

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