Review: The Enemy Within by Tim Ayliffe

 

Title: The Enemy Within (John Bailey #3)

Author: Tim Ayliffe

Published: 28th July 2021, Simon & Schuster Australia

Status: Read August 2021 courtesy Simon & Schuster/Netgalley

+++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

The Enemy Within is Tim Ayliffe’s third exciting thriller to feature investigative journalist John Bailey.

After a young Sudanese man is beaten into a coma only streets away from where a white supremacists rally was held just hours earlier, Bailey, writing a piece on the rise of right wing extremism for the launch issue of a new independent magazine, finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy determined to start a race war.

Fast paced and offering plenty of action, elements of the plot are recognisable from headline events including the emboldening of various hate groups (supported by political, media and law enforcement leaders), the cull of experienced investigative media, and the AFP raid on a journalist. I really like the way that Ayliffe (a former journalist himself) grounds his stories so that events seem plausible, and are relevant to Australian society. I found it easy to guess who was behind the direct actions of the extremists, but the identity of other players came as a surprise.

Up against a well resourced and connected enemy, Bailey gets some help in The Enemy Within from his former newspaper colleagues, Gerald Summers, and Marjorie,  plus ex-CIA agent (among other things) Ronnie Johnson. Unable to trust the police, when they learn of the supremacists end game Bailey and Ronnie physically take on the threat in a tense showdown.

Bailey is in a fairly good place in this third novel,. He remains sober, he has grown closer to his daughter, he has adopted a dog, and his PTSD from his time as a captive in Iraq is rarely close to the surface. Though he is still mourning the death of his girlfriend (in State of Fear), there is a hint of possibility of a new romance in forthcoming books when Bailey reunites with a former lover, TV journalist Annie Brooks.

The bushfires raging along the coast of NSW, which creates a pall of smoke over Sydney, and a throwaway line that refers to the incipient pandemic dates the timeline at January 2020. Set in Sydney, readers familiar with the city will recognise locations such as the Lindt Cafe and Bondi Beach.

The Enemy Within is a gripping, tense and entertaining read. It’s not strictly necessary to have read the previous novels, The Greater Good and State of Fear, to enjoy this novel but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

+++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Aug 14, 2021 @ 22:30:06

    Right now so many different kinds of detective fiction around, all of them very good. From the vintage to the 1920s and then coming to present day series, all make for such good reading.
    Thanks for this review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Linda Moore
    Aug 14, 2021 @ 23:25:11

    Sounds like a good one.
    Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Helen Murdoch
    Aug 15, 2021 @ 03:35:32

    Thank you for introducing me to a new series and author, this book (and the previous 2) sound really good. I like the idea of fiction based on real life events and headlines.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  5. Sue
    Aug 16, 2021 @ 03:45:11

    Thank you for this review. I like a series occasionally so I’m going to start at the beginning. By the time I finish the two you have mentioned, the third will be in my library to borrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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