Post Script: American Blood – Ben Sanders

Considering I don’t really like this style of action/shootem up/smashem up/ pump action, dipped in blood type thriller, this was a pretty impressive read.

American Blood

American Blood

Ben Sanders

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760291570

 

Description:

After a botched undercover operation, ex-NYPD officer Marshall Grade is living in witness protection in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marshall’s instructions are to keep a low profile: the mob wants him dead, and a contract killer known as the Dallas Man has been hired to track him down. Racked with guilt over wrongs committed during his undercover work, and seeking atonement, Marshall investigates the disappearance of a local woman named Alyce Ray.

 

Members of a drug ring seem to hold clues to Ray’s whereabouts, but hunting traffickers is no quiet task. Word of Marshall’s efforts spreads, and soon the worst elements of his former life, including the Dallas Man, are coming for him.

 

Written by a rising New Zealand star who has been described as ‘first rate’, this American debut drops a Jack Reacher-like hero into the landscape of No Country for Old Men. With film rights sold to Warner Bros, and Bradley Cooper attached to play tortured hero Marshall Grade, American Blood is sure to follow in their award-winning, blockbuster success.

 

‘This novel has it all – great characters that are all too-real, switch-blade sharp writing, dialogue that would bring a smile to Elmore Leonard’s face and a plot that grabs the reader by the collar, squeezes hard and never lets go. American Blood is a first-rate, first-class, top-tier thriller and Ben Sanders hits it far and deep. This is one book that flat-out demands to be read. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. If you love a good thriller, then look no further than American Blood.’- Lorenzo Carcaterra, New York Times-bestselling author of Sleepers and The Wolf.

 

‘American Blood is a lean, mean, power-packed novel. A hardboiled bolt of lightning to the crime genre. Ben Sanders has set the new standard for gritty, action packed thrillers.’ – Victor Gischler, Edgar Award- nominated author of Gun Monkeys.

 

 

My View:

After you have read the description (above) of American Blood by New Zealander Ben Sanders you might find yourself questioning why I read this book – I know I had doubts when I first picked it up.

 

This book is all the things I loathe is a thriller, it is

Violent

Bloody

A “Hollywood” style shootem up – never have I read a narrative with some many shoot outs, such carnage, and such violence. (But it is not voyeuristic).

 

 

And yet I loved this book! I can’t believe I even said that, felt that – this should be a book I detested! (It did take me a few chapters to engage with the characters and to learn how to follow the style of the writing – the back and forwards of events in time) However:

 

 

This book is all the things I love in a narrative:

Fast paced

Twisty plot

Some great characters – the protagonist is a real HERO – putting himself at risk to save others. He is droll with a fine sense of black humour. Or maybe he just tells it as he sees it?

Engaging and absorbing reading.

A sense of urgency and anticipation that had me reading till the early hours of the morning till the book was finished.

 

All in all, once I started this book and had a few chapters read I found this so engaging I could not put it down. It defies all logic but I loved this book!

 

 

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Post Script: Northern Heat – Helene Young

Cover Northern Heat -Helene Young

Northern Heat

Helene Young

Penguin Random House

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780143799740

 

Description:

In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is living under an assumed name and rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and a chance to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark.

After tragedy tore her family apart, Kristy fled to Cooktown with her feisty teenage daughter, Abby. She hoped being part of the small community would help them both heal, but Abby’s sports coach is turning out to be a compelling distraction.

When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger in Cooktown. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

 

My View:

This was a dramatic page turning read which had all the elements I desire in a great contemporary novel – well developed characters- some you will like, some you won’t. A complex plot that has several story arcs; this novel has threads that discuss such issues as domestic violence, bulimia and life in rural Australia/life on the farm. The settings are amazing – although we have only travelled a small area of Queensland I was able to recognise this setting in so many coastal towns we visited. There is plenty of action, drama and intrigue – the pages almost turn over by themselves urging you to read on and did I mention the writing? Excellent.

 

This is a well-crafted and executed narrative. My only difficulty with this novel was trying to decide how to describe the style of this book – I don’t think the term rural fiction does it justice – the book is located in rural Australia but is not defined by its location. Romance/romantic thriller? The books does have characters and so of course there will be a range of relationships in the book – there is a blossoming romantic thread but romance is not the sole purpose of the novel, there are discussions re family dynamic/relationships, friendship and camaraderies – all aspects of community are to be found here. A cosy crime this is not. Action packed, tense, full of suspense – tick. I think best description for this read is contemporary Australian fiction. How would you describe this book?

Post Script: The Defence – Steve Cavanagh

Cover The Defence Steve Cavanagh

The Defence

Steve Cavanagh

Hachette Australia

Orion Books

ISBN: 9781409152309

 

Description:

The truth has no place in a courtroom. The truth doesn’t matter in a trial.

The only thing that matters is what the prosecution can prove.

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.

It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter Amy.

Eddie only has 48 hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Lose this case and he loses everything.

 

My View:

Hang up your disbelief on the rack by the door, show me your membership to the thriller enthusiasts club and then take a few calming deep breaths; commence reading. But before you start I have a duty of care to warn you, take heed of my advice, it is not given lightly; this book will thrill, captivate and enthral you. Clear your diary because once you start reading this you will not be able to put this down until the last page is turned and whilst you have your diary out please make an urgent booking for the physio or chiropractor or naturopath of your choice because after you have finished reading this your neck muscles will be so tense you will need a therapeutic massage to ease the pain! Don’t say you weren’t warned.