The Legionnaire: Origins - S.J. Parkinson

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Sergent Étienne Martin is a Non-Commissioned Officer in the French Foreign Legion stationed at a remote Algerian base. He’s an excellent soldier while on duty and a mean drunk when he’s off. Luckily he has a friend who keeps him out of trouble because the commanders at this base are unforgiving. All Martin wants to do is make it through the last three years of his service. After that, who knows? But he never gets a chance to figure it all out. It’s brought to his attention that millions of Legionnaire Euros are being used to feather someone’s nest. Bringing it to Colonel Rochon should have solved the problem, but Martin is so very wrong. Stay and die or run and be a deserter? Death isn’t acceptable, so run it is. If he survives the desert without dying or getting caught he’ll need to plan what to do next. And for once, fortune favors the bold.


For those of us who read The Legionnaire: Mask of the Pharaoh this is an excellent look into Stephen Anderson’s past and I, for one, enjoyed every minute of it. For those who have yet to read the book mentioned above, I suggest you read this one first for a more linear timeline.


Unlike Mask, this isn’t a mystery so much as a thriller. I know the 4 W’s and the H, what I don’t know is how Martin is going to deal with this knowledge. As he escapes across the desert the tension is nerve-racking. The villains, Rochon and Rodin, are truly hate worthy, a perfect foil for the hero Martin, his friend Paul and the investigator assigned the case, Lieutenant-Colonel Vigneron. There are several threads that come together as the plot progresses. Martin runs across an incredible amount of good luck for someone who hasn’t been particularly lucky in life to date, so I did have a tiny bit of trouble suspending my disbelief. However, for the most part this is one thrilling ride!