Payback by Simon Kernick


My Rating: 3/5

I am a huge fan of Kernick’s after reading Relentless. I also found previous book The Last Ten Seconds was a corker of a read. With this one I feel like it was a bit flat in comparison. The story itself was okay, and we get to see Tina Boyd and her obsessions once again. I just felt it wasn’t as good in comparison to his last one.

Like I said before Tina Boyd once again makes an appearance and all of her obsessions are highlighted even more in this book. She is a really good character and with the double up along with Dennis Milne they made for great lead characters. Dennis Milne has appeared in previous Kernick books but I have yet to read them. Even if you haven’t read past books of his, this book can still be read as a stand alone.

The story is mainly set in Manila and as usual the story starts out at breakneck speed. This is one of the main things that sets Kernick apart from other authors. He managed to pick you up and chuck you headfirst straight into the thick of it. The pace hardly lets up throughout the whole book and as usual you will be turning the pages quicker than you can read.

The story itself was okay, but just okay. I loved the writing and the characters but just felt there was something missing with this book. I couldn’t even tell you what it was, just that it doesn’t read as well as some of his other books. As usual the crime scenes are gory and gritty and frighteningly realistic. This is definitely a no holds barred author when it comes to the graphic descriptions of how people die. Having said that; it’s done brilliantly and just ends up drawing you further into the story.

Overall I felt a little bit mixed about this book. On the whole it was as usual a great book from Kernick, just not as good as others he has written and was lacking that usual magic sparkle. I would still recommend and look forward to reading his other books still on my to-read pile!

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