By Caroline Fakhri
One of the most griping books I’ve read in a long while; I could not put it down. At four hundred and forty pages long and one hundred and two chapters, Ultimatum is not a short book, so much the better as I didn’t want it to end, none the less I read my way through those pages at break neck speed, always hoping I had one more tube stop to go before having to stash the book away, or one more chapter before turning the light off. Not being a fan of electronic reading devices I was more than happy to lug the book around, so I wouldn’t have to wait until I got home before picking up the story again.
The fast pace of the book is enhanced by the short chapters that keep the reader hopping from place to place alongside the characters, Luke Carlton, the cool MI6 guy, Karim Zamani, the ruthless Revolutionary officer, Guardian of the Revolution and his beautiful daughter Tahnaz, the apple of his eye, used mercilessly by the MI6 to reach her father, a dangerous man obsessed with power, a product of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Ultimatum is bang up to date, weaving the story around the threat Iran poses to the rest of the world, with its obsession of forging ahead with its nuclear programme, alongside the state visit of the British foreign minister, kidnapped whilst on a diplomatic trip to the country with a view to cementing a better relationship with the UK after many years of decidedly icy encounters.
The book’s speed still allows for gripping detail, painting a vivid picture of the heart stopping situations the MI6 agent finds himself in, whether it be in Armenia on his first mission at the beginning of the book or further into the novel on his drive across the vast Iranian desert in a bid to locate and rescue the kidnapped foreign minister from certain death.
A must read for any Frank Gardener fan and anyone vaguely in interested in Iran and the Middle East.
Author: Frank Gardener Title: Ultimatum Publisher: Penguin 2018
29 December 2019