Spoilers in review

Who Is Jake Ellis? plunges you immediately into the heart of the action and barely lets up for the rest of the book.

Nathan Edmondson’s thoroughly enjoyable story pivots around Jon Moore, an expert spy and mercenary whose reactions would give Jason Bourne a run for his money. Guiding him is that little voice in his head, a phantom passenger only he can see but who can provide him with continuous, life-saving intel and guidance. This secret weapon has a name, Jake Ellis, and, as the title suggests, the book concerns itself with getting to the heart of a mystery, the identity of this ghostly partner.

Moore assumes that Jake Ellis is part of his own fractured mind, an apparition. He has been on the run for four years since Jake rescued him from a shadowy and nefarious organisation that engineered his kidnapping. As the book unfolds at breakneck pace, the mysteries of why Jon is being hunted so relentlessly and ruthlessly and who Jake Ellis really is become more and more intriguing.

This book is wonderfully gripping, blending elements of spy stories, mystery and science fiction into a satisfying concoction. It never insults your intelligence and one of its strengths is that the protagonists are as in the dark as the reader, involving us deeply in the mystery and its unfolding. The action is relentless and rendered in fine form by the talented Tonči Zonjić, a Croatian artist who deserves wider recognition. His storytelling is dynamic and inventive, bringing clarity to the narrative and a thrill to the heart.

Each chapter begins with a map plotting the journey throughout Europe and North Africa to capture the exhilarating, adrenalized pacing. The book is gorgeous, with people and backgrounds perfectly rendered. Yet, all the fast pacing in the world can’t save a story with vapid characters. This isn’t a problem as Edmondson makes Moore and Ellis such likeable and interesting figures with a strange, inseparable, enigmatic but entertaining relationship. The story is propelled confidently by the mystery and answers some of the questions it sets, but opens up new ones to be explored in a very welcomed second volume of the book, Where Is Jake Ellis? This is one wild ride you will be happy to stay on.