MV Ezadeen The Rising Tide by Nicholas P. Clark

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‘MV Ezadeen the Rising Tide’ is the third book in the thrilling Jack Malaney series, after ‘The Baltic Triangle’ and ‘Deadly States.’ This explosive action novel once again follows the adventures of the charismatic Malaney, but also explores some of the problems that rock our world today.

This book is based in Europe but also spans across Africa and Syria. Clark has given his story a contemporary twist, taking the European migrant crisis as a key theme. He also discusses terrorism, human rights, child soldiers and the political clashes that are happening with more and more frequency in the EU. Clark handles all of these different threads with sensitivity and raw humanity. A variety of different narrators offer heart-breaking perspectives on the humanitarian crises discussed in this novel. My favourite third-person narrator was Jabir, a young boy trying to escape his violence-riddled past and find a new home in Europe.

Just like in the previous two novels in this series, Clark shows his flair for well-rounded, fully developed characters in this book. We see a whole cast of characters throughout the course of the novel, some old and some new, but all handled with grace and precision. I loved reading about all the little details, such as coast-guard (but also special agent) Ryan’s quirky heritage. Clark’s handling of our charming protagonist Jack Malaney was also spot-on. Jack practically bounces off the page with his sparkling dialogue, his use of humour in the face of danger and sheer amount of style.

Clark’s plot is full of twists and turns. There’s always more surprises, more cliffhangers. ‘The Rising Tide’ is certainly a page-turner, a quality that is helped by Clark’s riveting prose. Every sentence flows nicely and the dialogue is sharp and realistic. Clark’s writing style is really what brings this book to life: it adds a human element to the horrors of the refugee crisis and also ensures that every interaction between characters is full of chemistry.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good action thriller, with brilliant characters and a sensitive handling of some difficult themes. Clark takes some of the humanitarian crises that threaten the world today and explores them thoroughly against a backdrop of politics and espionage. In my opinion, this is the best Jack Malaney novel yet.