|"He has betrayed us and wants to go to war." This is the incomplete message left by Svelte, a Russian submarine captain, in the woods near a remote submarine base. Thus begins Sentinel, the second in The Spycatcher series by Matthew Dunn. Just as Will Cochran, Spartan, the top secret operative of an MI-6/CIA joint program tries to infiltrate the base to learn more from Svelte, he is thwarted by the simultaneous arrival of Russian paratroopers who take over security at the base.
Will is able to thread his way to Svelte finding him near-death at his residence. Svelte's last words "Khmelnytsky......war between Russia and America. Only Sentinel can stop him." Sentinel is the only other individual besides Will Cochran to complete the physically and mentally grueling twelve month Spartan program. Furthermore, Sentinel survived six years of torture in a Russian prison; when he returned home to London he opted to return to Russia where he now serves as the case officer for ten agents who are being murdered by Khymelnytsky aka Razin.
Razin who was initially recruited by Sentinel not only serves as the leader of Spetsnaz Alpha which is a Russian Special Forces Unit, but is the first and only person to ever be Will's equal physically and his most worth adversary ever, due to broad and sophisticated training which earned him Russia's highest honor of Hero of the Russian Federation.
With political and economic tension between Russia and the United States at its highest since the Cold War and the possibility of World War III in the balance, it's Spartan vs. Razin in this taut political thriller. From the opening gambit at the Russian submarine base to the can't be missed surprise ending, Sentinel will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are a few too many acronyms, the action scenes are a bit drawn out at times, and I would be most interested in knowing much more about Will Cochran (more character development, please).However, these are but minor distractions in this excellent follow-up to Spycatcher.