Mysterious Reviews Home


A William Cochrane Mystery by Matthew Dunn

Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn

Review: On the premise that "only a real spy can find another", Matthew Dunn introduces British spy Will Cochrane in Spycatcher, a title that pretty much sums up what this book is all about.

The British Special Intelligence Service fears that a ruthless Iranian spy is planning an event that will result in a massacre and recruits Cochrane to find him. Though he's an experienced agent, this will be Cochrane's toughest and most critical mission yet. An elite group within Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard known only as the Qods Force is believed to have ordered a man code-named Meggido to complete their mission of widespread genocide. Cochrane, one of the most efficient — and deadly — operatives for the West, is given the code-name of Spartan and answers only to three men: his handler, the Prime Minister of England, and the President of the United States. But few know that this is also a personal mission for Cochrane; the man he knows as Meggido is the man who killed his father.

There is a lot riding on the character of Will Cochrane in Spycatcher. Relentless action that criss-crosses the globe is fairly standard fare in thrillers these days, so if a book is to stand out it has to do so largely on the basis of its lead character. Cochrane clearly has potential here, being something of a contradiction. On one side he is ruthless and will subject himself to all sorts of physical abuse in pursuit of his target. On the other side, he is unwilling to risk innocent people for the sake of the greater good. But as the story plays out his character becomes more idealistic, or maybe just something less than entirely credible. Though at every turn he seems to be at risk, it soon becomes clear there's never any doubt that he'll come through essentially unscathed. Still, the international and interpersonal conflicts, and a solid "behind-the-scenes" look at modern terrorism, do contribute to a tense environment for the character — and by extension, the reader — which is, to a large part, the point of the book. Nevertheless, a more flawed or vulnerable central character would have help make this thriller significantly less generic.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Spycatcher.

Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Spycatcher for this review.

Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Spy Trade by Matthew DunnSpy Trade
Witness Impulse (Mass Market Paperback), September 2015
ISBN-13: 9780062441423; ISBN-10: 0062441426

Location(s) referenced in Spycatcher:

— ♦ —

Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn

Spycatcher by A William Cochrane Mystery

Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-203767-1
Publication Date:
List Price: $25.99

Buy the Book (purchase options)

— ♦ —

Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites