ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Gatekeeper by James Byrne

Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Format: E-book
Genre:  Thriller

Publisher: Minotaur Books
326 pages
Buy:  Kindle Audiobook 


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.


I received an advance review copy from the publisher and I am writing this review voluntarily. 

This reminds me of the Reacher books by Lee Child but a little bit lighter and more fun.  Dez is a witty and talented man with a knack for being in the right place at the wrong time. After retiring from whatever it was that Dez used to do he is playing bass in bands in LA. After being comped a room by the management he meets a beautiful woman way out of his league in the elevator and flirts with her is turned down and ambles along to his room where while staring out the window he notices a sniper and a very well trained team of men entering the building - he immediately knows its regarding the woman he met in the elevator. 

After saving her from being kidnapped Dez and Petra form a friendship that has him helping her uncover who stole 1.3 billion dollars from her fathers company.  What she uncovers is a conspiracy of racists, and an insurrection the likes of which haven't been seen before. This is a fast pace ride from beginning to end. Its also terrifying in its content.  With the rise of white supremacy in this country and Russian interference with American politics this isn't as much of a reach as I wish it was. This is a well crafted book with Dez making funny comments throughout that keep the content a bit on the light side. I couldn't put it down and wound up staying up way too late trying to finish it.  The chapters are super short which makes it easy to fly through this book almost as fast as the action on its pages. 

This is definitely a series I will be keeping an eye on. 

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