Bob Shepherd knows his stuff. Of course, that's what you might expect, given that he spent two decades serving with the elite military warriors of Britain's Special Air Service before turning to private security work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It's no surprise, then, that the black ops action and intrigue in The Good Jihadist make for a credible page-turner.
Shepherd's protagonist in this, his third book, is the former SAS sergeant Matt Logan, a Scotsman sucked back in to the cauldron of war and terror in which nothing and no one are quite what they seem. The plot twists are many as Logan vengefully searches for an elusive insurgent leader in Pakistan.
In fact, the glossary and the map that precede the story will help the reader to sort it all out. That's a quibble - that one should have to keep referring to such devices to keep things straight - as is the borderline bathos to which the author descends in describing Logan's grief and many regrets. Nevertheless, it's not enough to offset the appeal of his gripping novel.