Review of Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn

Reviewed by Candace E. Salima, US Daily Review Contributor

There is nothing quite like a story about a spy to end all spies being written by … a former spy himself. Matthew Dunn, a former field intelligence officer for Britain’s famous MI6, left the intelligence and security worlds in order to jump, feet first, into the world of literature. And he’s conquered that world as thoroughly as he conquered his former career.

I had the opportunity to interview Matthew Dunn about his debut novel released 9 August 2011, SPYCATCHER. I picked up the book, the night before the interview, and thought I would read one or two chapters, and then cash it in for the night. I turned the last page at 2:00 a.m. I’m a busy woman, I don’t let anything get in the way of the few hours of sleep I get a night, but I could not put SPYCATCHER, now available in both hardcover and Kindle, down.

When asked about the character of intelligence officers, Matthew Dunn, who holds the highest security clearance in Britain, replied, “Intelligence officers are lone wolves. It’s vital that they don’t make themselves visible. One can’t get the best intelligence by using a sledgehammer approach. To that extent, there are no “superior forces or big guns” when you’re in the field. Your country’s army, navy, and air force are the inferior forces that are liable to get it wrong. And that means you can’t trust or use them. But if you mess up and get caught, you will die.” (Jeff Deever Interview with Dunn on

And a lone wolf is exactly what Will Cochrane is … he also happens to be the Spartan, the only one to survive a brutal training. While the Spartan exists, no other can hold the title, which makes Cochrane a one of-a-kind, hard to control kind of spy. In spite of that, he is the CIA’s and MI6’s most prized possession, and the one they call when all is lost. Once given a mission, his focus is single to the goal of accomplishing that mission, and anything in his way is liable to be destroyed, quietly and efficiently.

Tasked with finding the Iranian mastermind behind multiple terrorist attacks, Cochrane races across Europe and the Middle East, and finally to America in his determination to stop a terrorist attack in America. Cochrane’s single weakness is the softness he has for the weaker people of the world. Women, children, innocents … even his assets, he’ll do anything to protect. This weakness, which is also his greatest strength, could cost him everything.

Dunn, takes us through the cagey twists and turns of the shadow world of international intelligence, the cultivating of assets, and the danger of working under the radar in nations besides one’s own. When Dunn revealed the bad guy, the one besides the evil Iranian mastermind, I literally dropped the book. I can usually guess the outcome of a book within the second or third chapter, but not so with

Spycatcher. Matthew Dunn is a master at suspense with an engaging, intriguing writing style. I believe we have a potential New York Times Bestseller on our hands here.

So if page-turning, breath-stealing action is your cup of tea, and it is mine, you’ll want this book in your home library to enjoy over and over.

Spycatcher is available everywhere books are sold.

Hardcover: 432 pages

Publisher: William Morrow (August 9, 2011)

Language: English; ISBN-10:0062037676 ISBN-13:978-006203767

Candace E. Salima is a syndicated talk show host, author, and columnist. Learn more about her at

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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