Ultimatum by Simon Kernick


My Rating: 3/5

Okay let me point out firstly that I am a big Simon Kernick fan and there aren’t many of his books that I don’t like. Sadly I felt a bit let down with this latest offering. His last book The Siege was a 5 star read that was absolutely brilliant and I literally couldn’t put it down. When I realised this was a follow up of sorts I looked forward to it. What I found frustrating was the beginning seemed so difficult to get into. Kernick has a magic touch when it comes to writing in that fast paced `what’s going to happen next’ kind of way. His writing is still just as brilliant but I found myself irritated with this book for a number of reasons.

Tina Boyd is currently a DC as she has been demoted because she tends to break every rule given to her. Mike Bolt is also back and running a special operation on Terrorism. These characters I have previously really liked, but for some reason they just grated on me this time around. How on earth Tina Boyd still has a job is beyond me! That aside, the story once again features Terrorism at the heart of it which I can understand especially in this day and age. We also see the return of William Garrett (AKA The Fox) who featured in The Siege. Boyd and Bolt are racing against the clock to stop an atrocity before it’s too late.

Like I said the writing quality is still there but this time around I just felt like the story was falling a little flat. I think aside from the characters irritating me, I would have liked to see Kernick make a departure from UK based terrorism and maybe do something a bit different. I know that a lot of people will enjoy this book, however I just felt like Kernick could do better. By no means do I mean that to sound condescending, I just wonder how I can be blown away by one book, and indifferent with another. The second half of the book was a lot easier to read and was much better than the first half as the pace picked up and there was a lot more going on. However, overall I was left feeling a little bit hard done by.

This latest release from Kernick will probably satisfy most readers, but is certainly not what I would call a shining example of his best work. I can only hope that the next one is just as brilliant as his books normally are.

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