Scorpion is the first in a new series by the author Mark Dawson, who also brought us John Milton, the deadly operative who left Group Fifteen and had nothing but troubles because of that. Because once you’re in, you can never really leave unless you’re in a body bag.
While this is a new series started in 2017, it strictly relates to John Milton and other agents during their time working for Group Fifteen.
In fact, the novellas are sort of prequels to the main John Milton series as they give us glimpses into the life the agents (including John) lived while working for the government underground operation and some of the cases/files John worked for them.
Scorpion is one such case. John Milton was best operative Group 15 had back in the day, and in this short story he is hunting down a Russian operative gone rogue, called Scorpion who is in England ticking down names on a hit list that he has.
One of such targets is journalist Hailey Banks and John is put on the case to protect Hailey at any costs. Scorpion is so good that without John, Hailey will have no chance of survival at all.
Nobody understands why Hailey is targeted since she hasn’t done serious investigative work in ages. Now she’s just a regular freelancer covering trivial stuff and food. For whatever reason, Scorpion is dead-set of taking her out nonetheless.
The story is action-packed from the first page to the last. We can easily see how good John Milton used to be and how much him leaving had to cost the organization. But, we can also see John’s first stirrings of something…of a conscience that would trouble him, later on, more and more until he would escape Group 15 in the main series of books.
I didn’t realize the book is a collaboration with another author, Steve Cavanagh, as the novella doesn’t veer of from Mark Dawson’s style at all.
While the book is short (less than 100 pages), it does give a full story with a plot that starts explosively and ends just the same. Sure, character progression is non-existent at such few pages, but if you love John Milton, this first novella is a must read. Also, if you’re new to John Milton, reading Scorpion will give you an idea of what to expect in the main books, on a much grander scale.