My Review (5 stars out of 5)
Following a meeting of Osama bin Laden’s lieutenants in Malaysia in 2000, some of the Al-Qaeda commanders went back to Afghanistan, but others went to Bangkok. In ‘The Nineteen’, Jake Needham conjures up a scenario that could explain what those men were up to. Jack Shepherd, along with two DEA men and an FBI special agent, try to uncover whatever it is the Al-Qaeda are planning, but with very little to go on, they soon run into several brick walls.
This is the sixth book I’ve read by Jake Needham and the first I’ve read in the Jack Shepherd series. Though the story this time around took a while to set up, once it got going, I couldn’t put it down. Mr Needham’s writing is always very readable and generally has a nice line in witty one-liners. This one is no different and while the details get a little complex at times (delving into money-laundering and dodgy financial transactions), the plot is clever and worryingly realistic. Knowing the ending to a book might put some readers off, but in this case, it just gives the reader an additional motivation to keep turning the pages. There’s also a nice little twist that adds another layer of intrigue at the end.
A fascinating and convincing read that kept me riveted from page one.