Reader reviews about the Somali Doctrine:
Five stars: A terrific thriller! I simply couldn't put it down, the action keeps you hooked until the last scene. But beyond the fiction, this book is a sad reminder of the dramatic situation in Somalia. I look forward to James Grenton's next book.
Five stars: The Somali Doctrine, James Grenton's debut, is the story of an Interpol agent making it his mission to stop the remorseless madmen at the helm of the world's largest NGO. The Somali Doctrine is all fiction, however, James Grenton has been witness to most situations and aspects touched upon in this haunting thriller, that takes us from real life disasters in Somaliland to Nairobi slums, plush South African hotels, and London. A terrific read and highly recommended.
Five stars: The Somali Doctrine is a gripping novel which I highly recommend. From Mogadishu, Addis Ababa, to Paris, London, Johannesburg and Nairobi, the plot never slackens, as you are taken into the sinister plot involving Somali militias, mercenary forces and non governmental organizations. This is also a novel with a message! James Grenton portrays the negative impact on Africa of organizations (militias, mercenary forces, but also NGOs) that are unaccountable to the societies they operate in, with their own agenda and serving their own interests.
Five stars: I enjoyed reading this book - a real page turner! Plenty of action and twists which kept me wanting to read more.
Five stars: This is an amazing novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's an excellent thriller, with a gripping plot and strong characters. It tells the story of Jim Galespi, a new agent at Interpol, who is sent to Somaliland (north-west Somalia) as an undercover agent to investigate the work of Universal Action, the world's largest non-governmental organisation. Jim soon gets caught up in pretty bad circumstances, with his life seriously under threat after finding an injured man in the middle of the road in the desert. I won't give away the story, but he has to leave the country in a hurry in a trip that takes him to Ethiopia, Kenya, Paris and London as he tries to hunt down the two psychopaths who have taken control of Universal Action and are threatening to destabilise the region. Along the way, he meets renegade journalists, battles with blood-thirsty mercenaries, and tracks down secret meetings and hideaways in a twisting plot that keeps you glued to the page.
It's very atmospheric, particularly its evocative images of Somalia, the refugee camps, life in the desert, the slums of Nairobi. I also love the way the author uses the story to make strong points about a number of issues, such as the way the mass media make money from Africa's wars and famines, the shifty role of international aid agencies and their rampant corruption. With the current famine crisis in Somalia and the horrific pictures in the media of emaciated African children, the issues raised by the Somali Doctrine are worryingly pertinent, to say the least.
But it's the originality of the writing and the strength of the plot that really worked for me. I couldn't put the book down! There are elements of Robert Ludlum in the book, particularly some of the fighting scenes, while the tension and the arguments between the characters also reminded me of Ken Follet. So if you're looking for a good thriller to read, that's well written and entertaining, but that also touches on key social issues, then buy this book. You won't regret it.
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