The Gatekeeper by James Byrne is action packed!
The Gatekeeper #1 by James Byrne
Published June 7, 2022, 336 pages
This was a good, readable book with LOTS of action. I could see it becoming an action movie starring Denzel Washington (like in The Equalizer), you know, good guy with deadly skills helping the beautiful damsel in distress, though this damsel seemed pretty capable of taking care of herself.
THE PLOT BASICS
Dez is a mercenary and the story opens right in the middle of a job. Immediate action, immediately! Then the story moves to southern CA and Dez is on "vacation" when his hotel comes under attack. The story is a case of right man, wrong place except he was the right guy to be there and help foil the attack. Then he becomes totally entwined in this complex political and corporate espionage/kidnap/murder situation ala Jack Reacher. Just a guy minding his own business and then he whips out all these deadly skills and saves the day. I do think the conspiracy aspect of the book is a BIT of a stretch, but, in for a dollar, in for a pound!
After saving the damsel (Alexandris) during the attack, they discover Dez's skills can help her with another problem - she's discovered a major embezzlement within her own company and the suspects are few. Dez and Alexandris find that they make a great team - she knows the corporate world and he knows the underworld and they each appreciate the knowledge and skill of the other.
Dez, remained mostly a mystery man throughout the story, and made an effort to not share anything personal with anyone (including the reader!) I'd get glimpses of his past or where he was from but not enough to really get to know him. His speech pattern sort of felt British, but not really, so that disguised him as well.
My main complaint with The Gatekeeper is that I didn't learn enough about Dez - he's still a very shadowy figure. I get that the author may want to retain some mystery and dole out information about him slowly in succeeding books, but I'm more likely to come back for more if I know and like the main character.