by Ian Austin
‘A friend of mine used them. He wasn’t supposed to tell anyone, but he did tell me in case anything bad happened. In the end, it must have gone exactly how he wanted, and the papers reported it so well that his family will always believe he died fighting overseas,’ Val whispered.
THE BLURB: Dan Calder is an ex Brit and ex policeman looking for a fresh start in a new country but still carrying the baggage of failed relationships and a depressed, repressed past. He chose New Zealand because it was as far as he could get from his old life but did not take into account the universal six degrees of separation is no more than two or three in the land of the long white cloud.
The Agency provides a service like no other and New Zealand is the ideal location to find a new client. When Calder first encounters it by sheer chance, his life instantly changes and before long others are depending on him too.
Engaged in a deadly game with an unknown foe; this was not the new life Dan Calder planned for himself but now at stake is the ultimate reward; his own salvation.
Ian Austin was born in 1963 in Southampton, England. His very un-remarkable school life ended at 16. Drifting into and out of several jobs including hotel porter and photocopier salesman he eventually found his salvation in the Hampshire Police. A career as first a constable and then detective in the UK followed, where he also served as a tactical firearms officer, covert surveillance operative and National Crime Squad trainer.
He left the police in 2006 to set up a training and consultancy business. He now lives in Auckland with his artist partner Sallie.
MY THOUGHTS: The Agency by Ian Austin is a good introduction to Dan Calder, around whom this novel revolves and the series will be based.
Austin’s police background is evident in both the content and the style of his writing. He says in the author’s note at the end of the book ‘I have drawn on some personal experiences to try and make it believable, but rest assured, I am not Dan Calder.’ He has definitely succeeded in his aim; his character, Dan Calder, is very believeable, as is the intriguing plot.
At one point in the novel, Calder runs a marathon. I am not an exercise junkie, although I did once run daily for a period of time, and hated every step of it. But back to Calder’s marathon, I swear Austin had me run every damned step with that man; I was exhausted by the end.
The Agency is a good read. If I have any criticism, it is that the conversation between characters is, at times, a little stilted, and that, in places, the author is a little wordy. Minor details that, in the end, in no way impacted on my enjoyment and that will be rectified by experience.
The next book, The Second Grave, is due out around Easter 2018. I am eagerly awaiting its release. I can’t wait to see what new dangers await Dan Calder. Please note that a new edition of The Agency has recently been published with beautiful new cover art by Ian’s partner, Sallie. However, due to my ineptitude with all things technical, I have been unable to reproduce the new cover here. *sigh* I will get better, I promise.
Thank you to author Ian Austin for providing a paperback copy of The Agency for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2250973825