With the highly anticipated release of SPECTRE in November, I’ve been doing all I can to celebrate the upcoming James Bond film which even includes reading the original Casino Royale novel by Ian Fleming. I’ve loved James Bond ever since I was a kid. The big guns, the flashy cars, voluptuous Bond girls, and perfectly tailored suits have all been part of the ideal fantasy of boys and men across the globe for over 50 years now and still going strong!
Now what if I told you that there’s another British action hero that’s both similar yet completely unique to 007? When my friend Ryan “The Rappologist” Steck tweeted something similar to me, I admit that I scoffed at the idea of James Bond having an equal. Ryan’s never recommended a bad book though, so I figured I’d give it a try.
Enter American author Ted Bell and his creation Sir Alex Hawke, a British intelligence officer and “The Sixth Richest Man in England”. At first glance, there aren’t that many differences between Hawke and Bond. Both men have vast fortunes, are top MI6 operatives drive fast cars, and are natural babe magnets. Upon closer inspection however, readers will find that Hawke is in fact his own man. For instance, Hawke’s origin story and overall character arc is actually more developed than Bond’s as is his ability to deal with the past and emotional issues as well. We also see Hawke utilize his personal fortune quite a bit more, and in this sense, he almost reminds me of Batman/Bruce Wayne minus the costume. Hawke’s loyal butler Pellum also plays a key role in the story. However, what makes Hawke the most unique in my opinion is that in addition to being an international counter terrorism agent, the man is also a father and we see this factor play a major part in the conflict and overall plot in Patriot.
The book’s plot revolves around Hawke hunting down an assassin who has killed several of his allies throughout the international intelligence community while at the same time attempting to foil an international incident that could trigger World War III. The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (yes, THAT Putin) also plays an intricate part in the plot which I thought was pure genius on the part of Bell. Patriot is not only a great piece of fiction, but also plays it’s part as a commentary on today’s potential conflicts on the world stage. It’s almost eerie how the fiction seems to mirror reality but that’s what makes the book a real gem.
I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love Alex Hawke and am looking forward to going back the beginning of the series. Mr Bell himself is a very gracious man and loves interacting with the fans.
Patriot is now on available for purchase and it’s definitely one of my favorite books of 2015! Thanks to Ryan for the recommendation, and thanks to Mr. Bell himself for being a stand up guy and a great author to boot!