Outlaw by Mark SullivanTitle: Outlaw

Author: Mark Sullivan

Pages: 334

Publisher: Quercus

Publication Date: 5 December 2013

Rating: ★★★★



The US Secretary of State is abducted while conducting secret negotiations aboard a tanker in the South China Sea. ‘Seven days’ is her captors’ warning. Seven days before she is beheaded, live on the internet. Seven days for Robin Monarch to save her.


The CIA asset and master thief journeys into the underworld of Southeast Asia to locate and extract his target. But as he navigates this shady labyrinth, he unravels a worrying conspiracy: stretching from the red-lit underbelly of Asia to the White House itself.

This was my second taste of Mark Sullivan and his character Robin Monarch. I read the first book in the series, Rogue, about a year ago and I thought it was good but it didn’t quite grab me like some other similar books in the genre. However I was looking for something to read and the blurb for Outlaw sounded pretty interesting so I thought I’d give Monarch another go. And I am glad that I did because I really enjoyed it.

Outlaw is Mark Sullivan’s second thriller featuring ex-Special Forces and professional thief Robin Monarch. When a ship carrying the US Secretary of State and the foreign ministers of China and India is hijacked, the president decides the best way to get it back is to send in a thief of their own, Robin Monarch. Along with his ragtag bunch of misfits, Robin Monarch chases the trail of the missing diplomats all throughout South East Asia and discovers that the kidnappings might not be the work of a simple terrorist group like everyone has been led to believe.

The book reminds me a lot of one of my other favourite authors, Ben Coes. It has this big international terror plot that stretches the bounds of reality a touch and it is stacked full of over-the-top action yet I still got so caught up in it nonetheless. Normally I like books where I feel that they could possibly happen in the real world. This is not one of those books but I still really enjoyed it anyway in the same way I enjoy Ben Coes’ Dewey Andreas novels.

My main reason for picking this book up was because I thought the plot sounded interesting. I thought it had that action movie feel and having read the book, it definitely did. You do have to suspend your belief a little bit at times, but when you get past that the story itself is pretty thrilling. The general idea of the story is pretty straight forward and it moves at a quick pace, which are two things I really look for in a book. I liked the mystery element to the story and the ending left me wanting more.

One of my problems with the previous book in the series were the characters. I didn’t mind Robin Monarch, even if he was a touch too superhero-y for my tastes, but the problem was there were just too many main characters to really keep track of who was who. Thankfully that was cut down a bit in this book and it made it a lot easier to follow. For the most part the book follows Monarch and his Chinese counterpart Song Le, who I thought was a pretty good character, and the rest of Monarch’s crew only play a minor role. There wasn’t a whole heap of character development for Monarch but I still feel Sullivan’s character work was a lot better in this book.

All in all, I am glad that I picked up Outlaw because it got me really excited for a series that I didn’t get too caught up in on my first try. The action-packed style of the book and the ending have left me wanting more so I don’t think I’ll be waiting a year before I pick up the next book in the series, Thief.

Worth a read? If you’re a fan of action-packed spy thrillers, and in particular the Dewey Andreas series by Ben Coes, then Outlaw is definitely worth a read. You may have to stretch your bounds of reality but once you do, you’re not going to want to put the book down.



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