SAS: Red Notice by Andy McNab may very well be the next big series to hit bookstores since the likes of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Ian Fleming’s James Bond, or in film and television Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt. I personally loved the character very much, and I felt like the best way to describe Tom Buckingham was a great mixture of Jack Ryan, James Bond, and Ethan Hunt. Tom is suave and has classy taste in clothing like James Bond, intelligent and one woman focused like Jack Ryan, and resourceful and resilient like Ethan Hunt.
First off, for those who are unfamiliar with the British SAS (Special Air Service) it is similar to the US hybrid Delta Force. Basically, the SAS are the elite military force in the UK. With that said, if you enjoy military thrillers this is right up your alley. Not to mention McNab himself was in the SAS, and has been consulted on many occasions by filmmakers to make sure special force tactics are accurate.
SAS: Red Notice by Andy McNab is a thrilling story revolving around the main character Tom Buckingham, and his brothers in arms in the SAS. When Tom strikes up a romance with a French woman named Delphine he puts them both in a precarious situation. Being in the SAS Tom is always on call. Delphine likens the job to Tom’s mistress, and there is a bit of conflict there. Tom fails to make a date one too many times, and Delphine decides it is time to leave and go back home to France.
As soon as Tom hears this terrible news he tracks her down, and rushes to catch her before the Eurostar departs. This becomes a situation of the right place, the right time for Tom. Not only does he catch Delphine, but he spots someone he and the SAS have been after. The notorious war criminal Lazlo Antinov. Lazlo has his own mission of destruction for the Eurostar and The English Channel Tunnel. Will Lazlo succeed? Will Tom be trapped in a deadly hole? Could something darker be brewing in the SAS itself? Or could a chance encounter lead to justice?
I really enjoyed this novel, and McNab seems to really know what he writes. He is very descriptive, and still not too wordy. His writing is a bit easier to digest than Tom Clancy, and the chapters are rather short similar to James Patterson and his affiliates chapter length. I will say there were two things that bothered me about this book. First, the story really didn’t pick up until Tom reaches the train. Which is about a quarter into the book. Second, McNab overuses acronyms to the point it became daunting to recall what certain abbreviations stood for, and it was somewhat annoying. Other than that I felt this was a fantastic introduction to the Tom Buckingham series. I also will say I have yet to watch the film, but I throughly look forward to watching it. If you’d rather skip to the film check to see if your streaming services are offering early video on demand access.
Overall, I give SAS: Red Notice by Andy McNab four stars out of five stars. I only deducted one star for the slow build, and the acronym overuse. However, once the book takes off it really does. It is packed with some great action, cloak and dagger, suspense, and fighting. I think Andy McNab has really hit his stride with SAS, and I look forward to reading future entries. Until next time friends.