It seems that BOOK POSTMORTEM is not the only one to have a teeter-totter relationship with the James Patterson factory output, seemingly so variable in the choice of co-author.
However, this liaison is a great one! Supposedly a stand-alone thriller, except for a novella introducing ex-SAS officer David Shelley, it does tick all the boxes. Reader-protagonist empathy, action, tension, surprises and twists, treachery and pay-back, and the destructive power of revenge.
The present is linked to a fourteen year-old past when Shelley is asked by the grieving parents of a young woman suicide, a victim of drugs and cam porn, to track the gang behind her death. As a child, Emma had been protected by, and had in turn befriended, Shelley; a child who had left a permanent mark on the tough, and at the required times, ruthless soldier.
However, it is with great reluctance that Shelley agrees, regretting that decision strongly when it becomes evident that the millionaire father is obsessed by revenge on the gang behind his daughter’s death. The gang are the British branch of a Chechen network that has become linked to a ruthless British gang-boss and his daughter who has a score to settle with both the millionaire and his wife, and with Shelley himself.
Not only is the protagonist character well developed, but the antagonists, and other, seemingly lesser players, have acceptably real depth in both convincing backstory and motive.
Five stars, Andrew Holmes & JP.
Thank you, Penguin Random House, South Africa, for this ARC. Herewith, as usual, an honest review.