Old Enemies (Harry Jones #4), by Michael Dobbs

Three-and-a-half stars (of five)

A young woman is tossed from a helicopter in Switzerland and her boyfriend is taken captive. The kidnappers reach out to the family from an undisclosed location, putting out a demand followed by a hefty ransom. While devastating, it has little to nothing to do with Harry Jones, or does it? The young captive, Ruari Breslin, has a mother with a scandalous history as it relates to Jones. He and Terri had a sordid affair that ended poorly and almost cost Harry his marriage. In true Harry Jones style, he agrees to help the authorities with the investigation and swoops into action, agreeing to locate Ruari and bring him home. While Jones and the boy’s grandfather take up the search, much is made of a certain political diary, whose contents could bring down many powerful leaders should it reach the press. Could its destruction be the key to Ruari release? How will Harry react to the roadblocks created to keep Rurari from being rescued and will his past indiscretions come back to haunt him? And how are the kidnappers aways one step ahead of the authorities in the search for Ruari? All is revealed in this Dobbs novel, pitting Jones into the more precarious situations with little chance of success.

Dobbs has steered away from the political Jones and thrust him into the action-figure on whom everyone relies. While there is a strong parliamentary aspect to the story, and a job offer that could drastically change his life, Jones remains on the fence and dodges having to face it. Continuing with the Bond-esque persona, Harry Jones becomes the ultimate ladies’ man, leaving broken hearts all over the world. Will this continue to fuel the stories presented, or has Dobbs another angle he wishes to pursue? I do pine for more political-savvy Jones, if he might come back, for I became hooked on that character, but Dobbs may have other plans for his swashbuckling hero.

Kudos, Baron Dobbs for your work. I am excited to see all you have in store with the next novel and hope it moves Jones in new directions.