A Sentimental Traitor (Harry Jones #5), by Michael Dobbs

Four stars (of five)

Dobbs finds his groove in a great mystery thriller sure to win back some fans left unimpressed with previous Harry Jones stories. A missile decimates a plane over London, killing all on board, including thirty-seven children. The UK and US governments begin questioning who could be behind this and for what reason. When an Egyptian national is fingered, he’s located and covertly captured by Russian officials. Interrogation leads to his death in custody, without revealing the entire story behind the attack. The case seems closed, but the motive remains unknown and the West demands answers. Member of Parliament and former military hero Harry Jones begins investigating at his Prime Minister’s request, but comes up empty. Soon, with an election on the horizon, false assault charges are brought against Jones and the electorate show signs of skepticism towards his behaviour. Jones also finds his personal finances are non-existent. Someone has obviously begun pulling strings to sully Jones and besmirch his reputation. However, Jones has a few tricks up his sleeve and tries to learn the truth about the crash and Russian involvement before he’s eliminated. A lone, but powerful employee of the European Union, cached away in Brussels, may hold the truth to it all, leaving Jones in a heated confrontation with Patricia Vaile in a last-ditch attempt to salvage his reputation. Dobbs returns to his stellar style in this fifth instalment of the Harry Jones series.

As though he read my reviews and ideas, Dobbs injects a great deal of politics into every aspect of this novel. There is great parliamentary commentary, interesting UK-EU interactions, and the ever-flogged Middle East terrorist theme that fill the pages of the book, alongside Jones’ usual sleuthing and burgeoning love interest. Dobbs creates a highly personal Harry Jones, showing the depths of his vulnerable side, with just enough gumption to ensure the reader sees a ray of hope at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Well crafted to the final page, Dobbs has found himself and keeps readers wanting more Harry Jones.

Kudos, Baron Dobbs for your work. A great rejuvenation in your storytelling has me hooked anew.