Friday 25 June 2021



Synopsis/blurb ....


It’s sold as an in-and-out jaunt to The Big Apple, to pick up a harmless envelope. But when Ben Bracken is offered the assignment, he’s a little hesitant. He’s a family man now, with a duty to stay alive for his loved ones.

But, with the request coming from fellow former military man and trusted friend William Grosvenor, not to mention the eye-watering payout, one last job can’t hurt, can it?

So begins his American road trip, one that takes him from the city that never sleeps to the misty swamps of Florida. All in pursuit of one highly coveted envelope. Because it turns out, this job isn’t the walk in Central Park it was promised to be.

As he’s pursued by New York’s most dangerous mobsters, factions of federal law enforcement, and American Intelligence, Ben’s hunch is that their joint quarry must hold something of international significance.

He’s not wrong. The contents that’s slipping through these influential fingers contains evidence of the world’s biggest cover-up. Evidence that will rewrite history books and incriminate one of the most powerful men on the planet. It’s probably best it winds up in the right hands..
The Watchman is packed with action, underpinned with believable conspirative intrigue, world-class writing and twists you just won’t see coming.

Another cracker from Rob Parker with The Watchman, a really enjoyable conspiracy thriller and the fifth in the Ben Bracken series. 

Bracken, living a quiet life of domestic bliss gets drawn back into the dangerous world of power, politics, secrets, cover-ups and black ops. All because of a favour for a friend. Simples he says, go to New York and pick up an envelope. Nothing is ever simple when Bracken gets involved. The envelope is hot property.

New York, new friends, new enemies, shoot-outs, chases, Mob types, switcheroos, road trips, secrets, questions, answers, Florida, death, loss, bereavement, Dallas, history lessons, pursuit, boat trips, plane rides, hostages and prisoners, a journo and a puppet master, power, control, entitlement, manipulation and comeuppance. Lots more besides - I think the only thing missing was a kitchen sink, but I might have missed that.

It's busy and fast-paced. For long spells the reader and Brakcen and his new pal, Luca Jr are kept in the dark about the contents of the envelope and their significance. Usually when a conspiracy-cum-secret gets a big build-up when the reveal comes it lands with all the impact of a slowly leaking balloon. I was braced for disappointment, but actually I find it quite believable, more so towards the climax of the book as the hidden adversary was finally revealed and the motives understood.

I do like Ben Bracken as a character. I admire his physical chops. He has a cool head in a fight, equally adept with weapons or fists. He's not all about brute force though. He's intelligent, loyal, and dutiful - perhaps sometimes too much so. For a clever man, he does allow people to take advantage of him.

Great book, interesting settings - it was fun seeing Bracken on an overseas outing. Decent plot, which lived up to the expectations it set itself during the early part of the narrative and a satisfying ending. What more do you need? (Mumble from the back ..... what's that you say? A 6th Ben Bracken book. Agreed.)  

4.5 from 5    

The first four in the series have all been read and enjoyed. It's nice to be on top of things for a change! They are in reverse order - Till Morning is Nigh (2019)The Penny Black (2019), Morte Point (2018)  and  A Wanted Man (2017) 

Read - June, 2021
Published - 2021
Page count - 300
Source - review copy received from author
Format - paperback


  1. This does sound action-packed, Col. It sounds as though the 'everyman drawn into a web' sort of theme is done well here. That's not always easy to do. It's refreshing to read about a protagonist who has a settled personal life, too. For me, that's a plus. Glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Margot, I think this series has grown on me as it's gone along.