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(Marc Dane #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  5,204 ratings  ·  364 reviews

A pulse-racing terrorist thriller - perfect for fans of I Am Pilgrim, Bourne, 24 and Homeland

Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor - and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 - he's force
Hardcover, 492 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Zaffre (first published 2016)
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James Swallow The plan is for the US edition of Nomad to be published in 2017. Keep an eye on my blog and twitter feed for more information.
James Swallow Thanks! The next novel ("Exile") will be out in the UK in June!
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,204 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Liz Barnsley
I loved Nomad. A totally banging thriller, a modern day spy story with a great main protagonist in Marc – forced out of his comfort zone and onto the front line in the fight against terrorism, you are with him all the way.

Nomad starts explosively and does not really let up – it is a beautifully written thrill ride of a novel that ticks all the boxes, has an underlying intelligence that allows contemplation as well as adrenalin rush and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. A book where
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Marc Dane is on the run as his employers ( MI6 ) think he is a traitor after all his colleagues are killed whilst on a mission ( Marc is part of the tekkies, a man in the van monitoring we often see them on the tv shows ) he tries to protest his innocence and gets involved in varying plots and scenarios that end up with him trying to thwart a major terror attack in America...where teenage lads have been implanted with detonating bombs!!!
Far fetched? Possibly a bit but then if the story was borin
Ben Aaronovitch
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
I read the original first draft of this book and was immediately envious of how good it was but, then, what was I expecting from someone as polished as our Jim. I could wax lyrical about how the book is tense, dramatic, exciting and other good things ending in -ing but then you would just assume I'm schilling for my mate. So let's just say that I really enjoyed it and leave it at that.

You should definitely read it though.
Phillip Ramm
Sorry Mr Swallow, but I had to give up at 6% (Kindle edition) of this chest-thumping testosterone burner when "Bell's lip twisted as he fired a three round burst that opened up a sucking chest wound in the closest of the men." Seconds later, "This one's done."

Apart from my automatic revulsion at the clichéd sneer, I know that a sucking chest wound is a type of traumatic pneumothorax in which is air is sucked into the chest cavity through a hole in the chest wall *with each breath*. A sucking ch
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Well, the fact is, what I do is not a bad occupation. Someone is always willing to pay."
"I would find it… tiring".
"Oh, no — it's quite restful. It's… almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There's only yourself. The belief is in your own precision".- Three Days Of The Condor.

"When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different, someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become
Rita Costa (Lusitania Geek)
It was a good easy read this novel, you could understand the story itself and his writting was ok. Action, battles, shooting etc but there are too many 'extremely badly scripted' fight scenes that are absolutely impossible to believe. The plot is complicated and the characters too far fetched to accept.
This is the sort of novel to who loves to Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva with Jason Bourne type of action, but not in the same level, unfortunately. I will give a 3, but i had high expectat
Ross Sidor
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely terrific thriller. This isn't the author's first novel, so he's already an experienced and able writer, but it's the first in his new series of spy novels. It serves as an origin story of sorts for Marc Dane, an MI6 technical specialist who ends up on the run, framed for the murder of his tactical team in France. Trying to unravel what really happened, he sets his sights on the Combine, a mysterious cartel that has gone from dealing weapons to rogue actors to staging terrorist attacks ...more
Quintin Zimmermann
A steady diet of Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum was a veritable feast of fine spy thrillers consumed in my younger days.

More recently, I am Pilgrim and Orphan X burst onto the spy thriller scene, with awesomely cool protoganists, fantastic don't mess with me action and yes, thrills.

In Nomad, Marc Dane can't cut the mustard as a bona fide action hero. He didn't enthrall and the plot just didn't grip me. While James Swallow's writing is solid, it failed to ignite off the page.

Nomad had some good i
This started off very well, but quickly became boring due to over- description. It is tiresome to read through pages of fight scenes blow by blow, for example.
The author attempts to make us care for the lead character by having him reflect on his relationship, but it felt false and hollow.
I didn't care enough about the main character or his motivations to go on reading.
Nomad (Rubicon #1)
By James Swallow
Genre - Thriller
Synopsis - Thriller
Someone has betrayed your country and murdered your friends. You're the only suspect. And the only one who can stop them striking again . . .


A pulse-racing terrorist thriller - perfect for fans of I Am Pilgrim, Bourne, 24 and Homeland

Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survi
Todd Simpson
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story. It was so well written and easy to read. I also enjoyed that its 512 pages, and it easily held my attention all the way through. Which is definitely not an easy thing to achieve. However there is plenty of action, and a story line that certainly captured my attention. The plot is elaborate and suspenseful, with a diverse range of characters. What should have been just another operation for the Nomad group, had quickly gone to hell down at the docks. Marc Danes job wa ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In James Swallow's thriller Nomad, readers are introduced to Marc Dane. The ex-British navy man is a tech operative for a British Intelligence special ops team.

The team is on assignment in France but when things go spectacularly wrong and the entire team ends up dead with Dane as the only survivor, he learns that there is a mole deep within MI6 and thus sets off an international hunt to not only unmask the traitor but stop a potentially devastating terror attack.

I've read a couple of Swallow's
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Strong start evolves into sluggish MI-6 espionage thriller. Life is too short!
Ruth P
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a perfectly acceptable terrorist/ MI5 /CIA romp...if not a bit long.Clearly lots of research went into re weapons etc ( yawn) but I glazed over at the length of the some of the descriptive paragraphs.The blurb says " for fans of I Am Pilgrim".... Be warned,it is nowhere as knock out as that brilliant masterpiece...but then sadly for any other writer,nothing can match that fantastic book.However I will be reading the other two Marc Dane books on the strength of this.....but why did James ...more
G.J. Minett
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
High-octane thriller which hints early on that it might be going down the Le Carré route, exploring MI5 and MI6 with its public school rivalries, grey men, acerbic wit and clandestine power struggles. Pretty soon though it becomes clear that this is more Jason Bourne territory and I say that with not a hint of regret or condescension. This flies along at an electrifying pace with all the gadgetry and detailed technical knowledge you can wish for and if Marc Dane has more lives than a sackful of ...more
Nick Brett
British author James Swallow gives us a full on thriller here. A British Intelligence Black Ops team is betrayed and wiped out, except for a sole survivor. Marc Dane, the survivor of the “Nomad” team is no special Ops guy, he is a technician who is forced to ‘man up’ and use all of his skills when he realised that there is a traitor in MI6 and he is being put into the frame for the destruction of his team.
So, who can Dane trust and why was Nomad wiped out? His journey will force him to take side
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
Nomad starts with a bang and the surprises never stop coming. Terrorists have developed a new weapon, "the conventional suicide bomber was no longer the most expedient option for militant extremists." This is some scary stuff.

MI6 resides 200 feet beneath the streets of London, and operates in a dark parallel world of guns and secrets. Marc Dane is a forward mission specialist, which means that he's one of the "blokes in the van," a back-seater. His battlefield is "corridors of data, lines of int
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks firstly to the publisher for access to this novel in return for an unbiased review. What an absolutely blistering read! The tension gripped you from the first paragraph and never let up to the very end. There are some twists and turns that leave the reader reeling. Do not be put off if you love mystery/crime/thrillers but the term "espionage" or "spy" novel deters you from selecting to read it as this is in no way like the dusty novels of old whereby spies loitered in dark overcoats and s ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fiction
I liked it. Man who is consistently underestimated wreaks havoc on nefarious plots. All the elements available to todays thriller writers are thrown in the mix, over his head hero, accomplished sidekick,evil terrorists, evil cabal, evil mercenary, double agents, good cabal and angry government agents mix it up. It's all very entertaining.
I loved this book for the first half but then I got bored...plot dragged on too much. Twists & turns were somewhat predictable and I got a bit bored towards the end. Still love a good CIA agent trying to save the world though!
Erin Clarke
Hmmm. I really wanted to like this book because I loved I am Pilgrim so much. It was an okay book… a good book at times and the story itself was great but it just felt far too drawn out. I’ll admit I found myself zoning out a bit during the (numerous) detailed descriptions of fight scenes (which were, again, a bit repetitive and predictable). It took me way too long to get through this book and honestly, by the end I was just reading it to finish it (although the last few chapters are quite good ...more
Jack Adams
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fairly decent book.

I liked the characters and it was an interesting premise. Dane does manage to get himself out of some implausible situations too.

I can see why a lot of people likened this to I Am Pilgrim. I will get around to reading the second one eventually.
Louise Heenan
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m new to thrillers, but this one reminds me of I am Pilgrim - a similarly gripping epic
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cracking thriller. I really enjoyed this and at nearly 500 pages it's pace never lets up.
The plot was interesting and wholly believable in parts too. Some innovative twists, government conspiracies, lots of mercenaries and an open ended finish leaves me wanting to read the next one sooner rather than later. Great summer beach read.
Rebecca :)
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This is one of the best books I have ever read! There was so much action and I never got bored because there were new characters and more drama in every chapter. The plot was really good (so were the characters, like I mentioned earlier) and overall I really enjoyed this book. I really liked that it was set in the current day but that the characters were fictional.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a bit meh. I took it on holiday to Hawaii with me and I had plenty of time to get into it but just never really connected with it. I finished it but it was a chore and I don’t think I’ll read any more of the series
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As thick as a doorstep and as implausible as it is addictive. Yep, this is a proper thriller alright!
elizabeth king
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A really good thriller that grips you from page one . Highly recommend this book and I will certainly be reading more of James Swallow books .
Nerdish Mum
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Nomad by James Swallow direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I think I've found my new favourite action adventure author and main character! Marc Dane is a really interesting character. He has a dark back story we have yet to learn more about, he's intelligent, he has feelings, he is practical and he's brave when he needs to be. He's also English.

The writing and action is fast paced keeping you on the edge of your seat and barely letti
Liz Mistry
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nomad by James Swallow (Bonnier Zaffre publishing Release date 2nd June 2016)

I don't read many espionage type thrillers, but when I received a review copy of Nomad from the publishers complete with a dossier folder and confidential correspondence alongside the book and I was hooked...

There's only one word to sum up Nomad and that word is Wow! Wow! and Wow! again.
Swallow hits the page running and you never stop, from the panoramic opening scenes in Barcelona through to the military operation in
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James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thriller series, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40000, Doctor

Other books in the series

Marc Dane (4 books)
  • Exile (Marc Dane #2)
  • Ghost (Marc Dane #3)
  • Shadow (Marc Dane #4)
“So you’re ex-Royal Navy, right?’
He tensed. ‘How do you know that?’
Lucy pointed at his arm. ‘Cabot wristwatch. It’s a dead giveaway.’ Marc frowned. The military-issue dive watch was the only connection he still had to that part of his past. ‘And also my boss is a billionaire, remember?’ The woman went on. ‘Information gets bought real easy, if you know how to deal.’ She smiled again. ‘So you’re all about Queen and Country. From navy puke to covert spook, all for the union jack.’
‘Something like that,’ he muttered. ‘And just so you know, we only call the flag the ‘union jack’ if it’s flying on a ship.”
“I built Rubicon from ashes,’ said the other man. ‘Ashes of war. I have worked hard to raise myself up from the poverty I was born into. Believe me when I tell you I have seen every kind of injustice, all across the heartland of my mother Africa. And now I have made billions of dollars from land and mining and technology. Now I can do something about it. As Lucy says, I am a very rich man.’ He reached up to his neck and pulled out the silver chain between his fingers. ‘I see you looking at this. Do you recognize it?’
Marc gave a slow nod. Now it was clear to him, he could see that the odd bit of discoloured metal was actually part of a weapon. It was the trigger from an AK-47 assault rifle.”
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