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.
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!
My Rating: 4/5
Former Soldier Dan Tyler is about to have a very bad day. He awakes to find himself in a strange bed with your girlfriend lying dead next to him. Not only is she dead but he is covered in her blood and according to the DVD in the machine, it was him who killed her. He is then instructed to deliver a briefcase to a shady address in East London and then wait for further instructions. There seems no way out for Dan so he has no choice but to follow his instructions and only hope he can survive the next 24 hours and uncover what really happened before he ends up dead too.
My first Kernick book was Relentless which I cannot praise highly enough. I then moved on to his most recent book The Last Ten Seconds which I loved too. I had really high hopes for this book but it didn’t quite live up to expectation for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it certainly wasn’t a bad book, but in comparison to the last two I have read it just wasn’t as good. The great thing about Simon Kernick’s writing is that he isn’t backward in coming forward. Each book I have read starts at 100 miles per hour and doesn’t seem to let up in pace. Normally the first few chapters are what grab you and pull you in. In this respect Severed is no different and he certainly manages to do this. However, the story was a little on the side of too un-realistic.
I must confess that although believability is good, the whole point of reading is for fun so if the realism isn’t there then it doesn’t bother me too much. Having said that, this story at times, fell too far over the boundaries of being far-fetched for my liking. That aside, everything else needed for a great read was there. The character Tyler is an ordinary guy who happened to have served in the Army for quite a while. It is pretty clear from the beginning that there are not many people he can trust or turn to for help.
His army training certainly helps with some of the situations he comes across though and pretty soon we meet many other shady characters. Aside from Tyler we don’t get to learn too much about the other people in the story unless they are absolutely necessary which makes a refreshing change. Sometimes there is too much background on characters, whereas with this it felt quite balanced.
The first half of the book is spent with Tyler following orders and suffering the consequences, whereas the second half of the book changes pace again with him fighting to get some kind of control back into his crazy day. The story is split over two days but the vast majority of the book is over 24 hours. Along the way we meet the likely suspects for Tyler’s set up but as the story progresses it appears that nobody is who they appear to be.
Yes, this book is a little unrealistic but the writing is fantastic. As a reader I am drawn into the plot (no matter how far fetched) and find myself wondering who is involved from page to page. Yes this book is escapism with a capital E but it is a worthwhile read. Towards the end of the book you are thrown a few plot twists which I liked and the story is finished with an Epilogue which wraps it all up nicely. I enjoyed this book, although not as much as Relentless but I will continue to work my way through the rest of his books and look forward to it.
My Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: There are three people involved and none of them can predict just how dangerous things are going to turn out. DI Tina Boyd has a past that is littered with trouble and she just seems to attract it wherever she goes. She has been part of the team that has tracked down and now arrested the serial killer known as `The Night Creeper’. The only problem is he has now been kidnapped and it’s Tina’s job to hunt him down.
Sean Egan is an undercover cop who has managed to become embedded in a dangerous criminal gang posing as another gang member looking for work. He is roped in on a job that means kidnapping the serial killer known as `The Night Creeper’. What he doesn’t realise is that he will be forced to make decisions that could not only end his career but his life too.
The Night Creeper is in custody arrested by DI Boyd. Not only is he a dangerous and sadistic killer but he is acting and looking like an innocent man. The reputation he has built was based on his brutality that all the police witnessed at each of the 5 murders that he committed. The only problem is, once in custody, he is claiming that he has a watertight alibi meaning that if he didn’t commit one, then did he commit any.
OH MY GOD! There are so many words that I just can’t find to explain this book. Corker, cracking, brilliant, exceptional, breathtaking, fast, edgy, the list goes on. What I will say is that this is a five star book that confirms that Simon Kernick deserves his place in the world of crime writing.
I have been an avid Crime and Thriller reader for the best part of 16 years and am shocked at the fact that I only discovered Kernick by reading Relentless a mere 8 months ago. Relentless was itself an absolute gem of a book (for which I rated it 5 out of 5) and I was pleased that I had read one of his books and planned on reading a lot more. Unfortunately for me my `to read’ list was getting longer and Simon Kernick went to the back of my mind. That was until Tuesday of this week, when I wandered into a book shop, only to see his new release sitting there on the shelf. I grabbed it with earnest and placed it at the top of my list as it had been 8 months since I had read Relentless and wanted to see if this was as good as the last one. I needn’t have worried as this book was, if possible, even better than Relentless. Hence the reason for the review a mere 2 days later!
With this authors genius style of writing it took me no more than one chapter to become engrossed. The story hits you in the gut from page one and doesn’t give up until the very last page. It had all the ingredients of a crime book that any reader wants. Great meaty characters, all flawed in their own strange ways. A story that is paced so quickly you feel like you’re in the passenger seat of a Formula One car, and to top it all off a story that takes you on more twists and turns than a roller-coaster ride.
The characters Sean and Tina are written extremely well in the first person and I loved the fact that the switch between the two was easy. Tina has her own demons, as does Sean which always helps towards the realism of a character in my opinion. They weren’t picture perfect and both have the same streak for doing things their way, no matter what the cost, or what rules they have to break. The chapters weren’t too long and were punchy and to the point.
The crime scenes themselves are written extremely graphically, which not to everybody’s taste I understand, was completely relevant to the story and the type of violence that Sean and Tina were surrounded by. I could find no flaws with this book and am already adding him to my pre-order list. I suggest that if you haven’t read a book by Mr Kernick that you add him to your list now, you won’t be disappointed.
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: Having never read Simon Kernick this book was lent to me. I have to say this story grabbed me from chapter one and didn’t let go. It normally takes a couple of chapters to really engross yourself in a book but not in this case.
Tom Merron is playing with his children in the garden when a phone call comes in that will change his life forever. All he hears is his old and close friend Jack in agony and panting down the phone. He hears jack mutter the first two lines of his address and at the same time he realises he has just heard his friends final words. He knows then that his life along with his children and wife will never be quite the same. With fear in his heart he grabs his children before dropping them with his family and racing to his wife. When he arrives at his wife Kathy’s place of work at a University he realises that something is very wrong. He isn’t alone and when faced with somebody with a knife he has no clue whether his wife is safe or if this person is out to kill him. He escapes the University but gets arrested by the police who think he is the killer. When he has finally persuaded the police to release him he begins to wonder if it was a wise move. He is worried that he and his family’s life are in serious danger but wonders how he can stop it from happening. We also meet the DI Bolt who is on the case and trying to work out what on earth is going on and who is responsible.
The book is so fast paced and thrilling that I literally couldn’t put it down. I had that feeling that I just HAD to keep reading.Fantastic book with all the right ingredients. Will definately be reading more of his stuff.