Review: The Watch List by Joseph Mitcham

The Watch List by Joseph Mitcham

Marie has gone to watch her friend Colleen sing. She recently won a TV Talent Show and since then has literally become one of the most popular, up and coming young singers around. For that reason, this year’s concert in Pavilions Garden Park on the west side of Birmingham City Centre is larger than ever before.

But there’s a problem.

The scale of the concert has grown exponentially but the organisers are still the very same volunteers as in previous years and as such no one has considered that a popular new, local talent may increase crowd capacity which will, in turn, affect fire regulations and security.

Nobody seems to worry about this, however, instead, they are focusing on having a good time. The warm-up DJ has got everyone into the party mood so by the time the main act, Colleen, comes onto the stage everyone is buzzing and expectant for a good show.

The crowd erupts when she walks onto the stage, and then disaster strikes.

Out of nowhere, a dustbin truck goes flying into the crowd, mowing people down without a thought, trying to cause as much destruction as possible. Then the driver abandons the vehicle instead hoping to create more panic by attacking people with a machete.

Running for their lives, the crowd heads for the narrow gateways at the front of the park, causing a bottleneck of foot traffic. The final straw, however, is the car bomb going off at exactly the right time to cause maximum carnage.

Alex, once a member of the armed forces, is now a tech wizard for a private company troubleshooting for any establishment willing to pay the right price. Through his current boss, he has been assigned a strictly ‘eyes-only’ assignment for the military.

It is during this time that he stumbles across some information that will change the way he looks at the world.

Alex cannot get the images of the Birmingham attack out of his head. He has seen the fallout from the incident; the body count rising, and he feels completely helpless. That is until he finds a copy of the government terrorist watch list. 

Without thinking too much about it, he makes the decision to copy the files for himself.  With over 20,000 names on the list, it is both eye-opening and deeply disturbing. How can the British Intelligence Service keep track of them all?

Unsure how to handle the wealth of information he joins forces with others that have been distressed by recent events.  Craig, the person Alex originally reaches out to, manages to rally a team together willing to help. This team are all well-trained individuals that have all honed their skills in the armed forces, mainly in the Special Forces Division.

This special team has one aim in mind, to neutralise as many people on that list as possible, but will they succeed? Will it benefit the country or will it cause more harm than good?

The Watch List by Joseph Mitcham

My Thoughts on The Watch List

I think in the modern age we are all far more attuned to the potential threat that terrorists pose and have all been made fully aware of the damage their hatred of the Western World can cause. For that reason when asked to review The Watch List, written by a veteran of the Armed Forces I was intrigued. Of course, this isn’t a real-life story but I can only imagine that the thoughts and feelings expressed in this novel would be recognised by many service personal, both active and retired if they were to read it.

Through the descriptions used by Joseph, I was able to visualise the scenes as they were laid out in front of me. From the indecisive nature of Alex when posed with the dilemma of whether or not to take the information through to what on earth he was going to do with it, to the commanding nature of Craig, everything seemed very real.

Of course, I do not condone the actions expressed in this novel but it did make me think about what others out there would be willing to do for their country and their freedom.

As you read this story the action unfolds, providing you with just the right level of detailed observations to make you think that you are on the operation with the team and just a sufficient amount of action without the over-use of death, blood and destruction descriptions that would normally make those with a weaker stomach put the book down.

If you enjoy novels by Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Ian Fleming or John le Carre I am certain that The Watch List is a book you should be adding to your reading pile.

Have you read The Watch List or any other novels with a similar theme that you would recommend to others?

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