Review: The Last Enemy (Agents of Influence, #1) by Christian Beck

Highly decorated Delta Force operator and Iraq war hero Simon Monk loses everything when his romantic partner defects to Beijing after being caught selling US secrets to Chinese Intelligence. Monk is drummed out of the Army from the blowback but gets a second chance at a career when he is recruited into a covert group within the CIA.

Years later Monk’s latest assignment sends him to Cairo, where the head of station has disappeared amid a highly publicized sex scandal. But things are not what they seem. When the base chief turns up dead and the Egyptian government looks the other way, Monk and his team hunt down the assassin.

All roads lead to a ruthless and lethal cult from Egypt’s ancient past who discard every unwritten rule of espionage to win. Monk is forced to take to the shadows to find and destroy his most dangerous adversaries yet, as a chain of events threatens to ignite war in the Middle East.


Simon Monk.

Ex-Delta Force
5 Tours in Afghanistan
Clandestine Services Agent

I'm about to squee. A lot. So cover your ears or find you some of those noise reducing headphones. 

If you're like me and suspense thrillers kick up your heart rate and flood your bloodstream with adrenaline, or if you're the sort of person that'll watch 13 Hours twice back to back (True story.), this is a book for you. Me? Give me a thriller with a BAMF and a complex plot and watch me go into The Zone. Any thriller will do but suspense, espionage, covert ops, maybe a clandestine governmental agency and international locales is my jam!

And Beck delivered my jam on brioche rolls.

Yeah, I licked the plate and maybe nipped a finger or two. Or something. Oops.

Add to that all that yummy goodness the language rife with acronyms, precise observations, strong female characters in pivotal roles and the good guys kicking ass and taking names and I think I drifted into some sort of endorphin haze.

Monk is ballsy and lethal. He's been assigned to find out where his friend and station chief in Cairo disappeared to because the story circulating sounds like a bunch of hooey. He assembles a team full of other bad asses and goes to Cairo. And then kicks some ass. And takes some names. 

There are a lot of people in play and I won't lie you have to keep up. The pacing is blistering and information is almost always relevant. I didn't find it any more convoluted than any other suspense thriller but word of warning nonetheless. Monk and his team eventually have to go radio silent because people they think are allies keep turning out to be enemies.

Seriously, is there anything better than the renegade BAMF out to right the injustice all on his own?

Answer: Not in Cupcake's hood. I'm sorry, bakery. We're keeping it 100.

One of the people he knows he can trust is Ben. He and Ben were lovers prior to Monk signing up with Clandestine Services before his schedule made a relationship an impossiblity, but things pretty much pick back up where they left off three years prior with a few stumbles. There is a connection between the two of them and some sexy times, but I would not categorize The Last Enemy as a romance.

For a first novel I was impressed by how much research must've gone into this book and the complexity of the plot. The writing style could be cleaner, though. There is an excessive amount of head hopping that happened without demarcation and sometimes mid-paragraph. On multiple occasions I found myself backtracking to keep it all straight in my head. Aside from that which I either got used to or lessened as the story progressed, my only other quibble was excessive banal details. I appreciate those precise observations in the midst of an op/mission, but I don't need to know what everyone's wearing every time they enter a scene, how often they shower or which direction they exit an elevator.

Clearly this is book one of a planned series and I'm really hoping the rest of the series will involve Monk and Ben rather than switching to another character(s). I feel like I'm just getting to know non-BAMF Monk. There are a few flashbacks that give insight into him as a characters and I'd like more of that for both him and Ben. Along with more BAMFing in a new locale.

Until next time.

Recommended for action adventure junkies like me.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Pub.

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