My podcast version of this review can be found here:
James Byrne’s The Gatekeeper introduces Dez Limerick in the most anticipated new thriller in years.
A highly trained team of mercenaries launches a well-planned, coordinated attack on a well-guarded military contractor – but they didn’t count on one thing, the right man being in the wrong place at the right time.
Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“Dez” to all) is a retired mercenary, and enthusiastic amateur musician, currently in Southern California, enjoying the sun and sitting in on the occasional gig, when the hotel he’s at falls under attack. A skilled team attempts to kidnap the Chief legal counsel of Triton Expeditors, a major military contractor – in fact, Petra Alexandris is the daughter of the CEO – but their meticulously-planned, seamlessly executed scheme runs into the figurative ‘spanner-in-the-works,’ Dez himself.
After foiling the attack, and with nothing better to do, Dez agrees to help Alexandris with another problem she’s having – someone has embezzled more than a billion dollars from her company and left very few tracks behind. But Dez is a gatekeeper – one who opens doors and keeps them open – and this is just a door of another kind. And the door he opens leads to a dangerous conspiracy involving media manipulation, militias, an armed coup, and an attempt to fracture the United States themselves. There’s only one obstacle between the conspirators and success – and that is Dez, The Gatekeeper.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
The Gatekeeper is a fast-paced thriller about a former mercenary, Dez, who is known as the Gatekeeper, and what happens after he decides to save a woman (in the hotel where he is staying) from would-be kidnappers.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
The cover shows lots of broken glass and a man running –that totally says a thriller to me. The blurb talks about so many professional aspects that make me think this story will be a very high-powered story with so many dire consequences that will impact whole countries. This story sounds like it could be super intense, high octane, and all of the many buzz words that I often see to describe books in this genre.
Actual Reading Experience:
I was right about the story being a high-octane, fast-paced thriller but what I didn’t know was how character-driven the story would be. Dez and his desire to champion the victim and handle impossible situations with a laid-back charm and unparalleled skills is the story. The interesting thing is that none of Dez’s back story gets told, yet I felt like I knew him thoroughly. He is not your typical action hero in the physical sense, but that made him even more endearing and perfectly human.
The situation is, hopefully, far-fetched, but I didn’t really care about that because I just wanted to see the bad guys taken down and the person behind the scheme revealed. I never guessed the scope of the mystery though I did suspect the culprit. Still, the reveal is just as thrilling as the rest of the story and did not disappoint.
The story is told in third person and primarily focuses on Dez’s point of view. The writing is full of wit and cynicism. I loved every sarcastic minute of it, finding myself chuckling at the oddest times. Short chapters and the fast pace from beginning to end make this a quick read full of political thrills and creative spills.
The only well-developed character is Dez. The rest of the characters tend to be somewhat stereotypical, but like with the plot, that didn’t bother me in the least, and I didn’t even think about it at all while I was reading. It just occurred to me when I sat down to write this review.
Reminds Me Of:
It reminded me of my beloved Orphan X series. The main character is one I can quickly rally behind as he takes on one impossible situation after the next.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you are looking for a new action hero to rally behind, The Gatekeeper is just what you want.