Title: Landslide (Mason Hackett #1)
Author: Adam Sikes
Published on: 20 September 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Landslide is Adam Sikes’ debut novel.
U.S. Marine veteran Mason Hackett is now a banker at a financial firm in London. He left the U.S. Marines fifteen years ago after an incident that claimed the lives of most of his team. One of them was Kevin Gomez.
Mason sees the face of an old friend flash on a television screen – a free-press journalist named Henry Delgado has been kidnapped in war-torn Ukraine. But Mason knows the man as Kevin Gomez. Mason receives a mysterious email from Kevin referencing a CIA operation gone bad and requests Mason to rescue him. Operation Landslide.
Driven by a need to uncover the truth, Mason launches on a perilous journey from the Czech Republic to Romania toward the war-torn separatist region in eastern Ukraine to honor a fifteen-year-old promise. The answers he seeks, the fate of his friend and his connection to the underworld of International arms dealers and defense corporations, and CIA’s dirty games keeps Mason on his toes. Nobody can be trusted.
I have been hearing a lot about this book and I was eagerly looking forward to reading it. The story begins with Henry Delgado waiting for a man who knows an arms dealer. But the contact who introduced Henry to the man is skittish – and it is too late when Henry realizes it is a trap. Meanwhile, Mason Hackett has left his military career behind and now works as a banker at one of the top financial firms in London. His work involves traveling to various places – and the clients include international arms dealers and defense corporations.
Mason is shocked to see an image being flashed on the screen. Reports suggest a free-press journalist named Henry Delgado has gone missing in war-torn Ukraine. But Mason knows the man as Kevin Gomez – his military friend who died fifteen years ago. Mason saw him zipped up in a body bag. Then, Mason receives an email from Kevin – if you are reading this, it means I… well, Kevin is in serious trouble and requests Mason to help him. Kevin tells Mason to start with Doug, a CIA operator.
When Mason meets Doug, he learns of a CIA operation code-named The Program – where ex-military men were ‘declared dead’ and then brought to life with a new identity. Kevin Gomez was one of them. Doug warns Mason not to interfere. But Mason cannot let his best friend die… this time for real.
Thus, Mason’s journey to war-torn Ukraine begins. Corruption is plenty and so are double-crossings. Then there is the CIA, neck-deep in their dirty games.
The story started on an interesting note and I was curious to see how Mason would save his friend. But the story fell flat when Mason started his journey to Ukraine. I was expecting more action and adventure in the rescue part – Mason reaching Ukraine and then fighting with the Russian-backed paramilitary to save Kevin’s life. But this didn’t happen – 70% of the story was about Mason’s journey marred with corruption, violence and reflection of his traumatic past.
The writing is good though. I really loved the storytelling and the characters. The only niggle I had was with the plot to story development. I was under the impression that this was a spy thriller. I was tad disappointed that things did not turn out as expected. Having said that, there is a promising development at the end. Something to do with Mason’s previous job. I am looking forward to learning how this twist will be explored in the next book.
Landslide by Adam Sikes is a promising debut and I am eagerly waiting to knowing what’s next for Mason Hackett.
I received an ARC from Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.