If you’ve read the Mark Dawson books starting with the John Milton series, you will know exactly who Isabella Rose is. In addition to John Milton, the author has written three spin-off series, Beatrice Rose, Isabella Rose, and The Group Fifteen Files series. Each is, in one way or another, connected with the (in)famous Group Fifteen.
John Milton is the best operative the clandestine organization, Group Fifteen ever had. But he left the organization and he’s been hunted by other agents ever since. While his story is continuing in his own series, Mark Dawson created a spin-off involving Beatrix Rose, another operative who left the organization for her own reasons. That series included three books.
Now, Dawson has branched out to yet another interesting character, Isabella, who is the estranged daughter of Beatrix Rose. Isabella was raised on the streets and was taught how to be an effective killer from a very young age.
Now, at the age of 15, she is also on the run, hunted by the same people she was working for before. In The Agent, Isabella is accompanied by Michael Pope, former head of Group 15 and Isabella’s ex-handler.
Michael Pope is an interesting character, and I was glad to learn more about him and his background. He was one of the top men in the organization, but now, after being framed by his own British government, he’s on the run as a wanted man. Also, Isabella, who was just a baby back in the John Milton books, is now a deadly teenager, one who is an expert at killing, a ferocious assassin.
The journey takes Isabella and Michael all over Europe, Asia and the US. Both have been caught up in a deadly conspiracy involving ISIS and now both need to be silenced as they know too much.
In parallel to their run, there is also another story involving Pope’s family, whom he is trying to save with the help of Isabella.
The story, as usual with the Mark Dawson books, is fast-paced. The action starts at the very first pages and never really eases up. That’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with the author’s books. He really knows how to hold our attention throughout the entire novel.
The characters’ backgrounds are well-fleshed out in this latest book, however, it is well-worth reading the Isabella Rose series in order starting with The Angel, then The Asset and then The Agent. While this particular series is not at all about John Milton, reading that initial series is not really a must. However, to learn more about Group Fifteen and their role in all this, it might be worth starting your journey with the following:
The Group Fifteen Files (a new series going to the early times when John Milton was still #1 agent), then the John Milton series, next Beatrix Rose, and finally the Isabella Rose stories. I promise you, your journey will be highly entertaining and rewarding.
All books are fantastic spy thrillers, although the Isabella Rose series does have a bit of science (and light sci-fi) involved in it as well.
I still love the John Milton character best, but Isabella comes at a strong second place.