“The hooded figure moved along the edge of the wall, keeping to the shadows. The thick clouds obscured the moon and black sheets of rain poured down, assisting the character’s clandestine progress…”
Number of Pages: 257
Date of Publication: 18 October 2021
Publisher: Dark Edge Press
My Review Summary: A gripping tale that was well written and well thought out.
An undercover MI5 agent turns up dead and people are being kidnapped and experimented upon, but to what end?
We follow the siblings of those that have been captured, an MI5 agent who was previously a junior detective and has been hastily promoted to MI5, and the people involved in planning and carrying out the deadly attack.
Can they all work together and put aside their differences to stop the attack before it is too late?
First of all I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It was well written and well thought out, with just enough detail to allow the reader to picture what was going on without being too overbearing, and, most importantly, it kept my interest from beginning to end.
It opened with a quote from Charles Darwin, which caught my interest, and there was also an interesting table of contents, which gave me high hopes for the story!
The story starts with a dark, mysterious character with a setting to match, so straight away you are taken in without too much effort from yourself as the reader. You are made to think that something is wrong and you are put on your guard. The story then takes a turn and you are taken to a lighter place with joy and the laughter of children, however there is a warning from the father that ensures that you are on your guard for something to happen. The mundane actions of the family playing with the dog are described in order to really reel you in and to give you a sense of unease. It’s not long before a dead body appears and the story begins.
I like the way that the mundane actions are described both here and throughout the rest of the book because it gives a more rounded picture of both the character being described and the setting that they are in. I feel that the characters are more relatable because their actions are every day and nothing extraordinary.
The main characters are named and their actions are highlighted to give you a flavour of their role within the story. You are also privy to more information than the characters, so you are able to stay one step ahead. With this information you are then willing the characters on, hoping that they will see what you can see. This helps build up the suspense because you are waiting for them to figure it out! There are still some times when you are in the dark and questions keep coming up. You don’t know who to trust and you keep waiting for a character to turn. The characters are very suspicious of each other (there always seems to be someone watching) so that puts doubts and unease in your mind, however as they are all working towards the same goal they don’t have a choice but to trust one another. As the reader you are still very suspicious of everyone! The questions are gradually answered and they keep the story moving.
There are quite a lot of characters and place hopping so you do need to be paying attention, however with the way that the story is written it all weaves together nicely to give a smooth storyline. On the flip side I think that the character hopping actually increases the suspense because you are left hanging on to see what the characters are going to do next!
I did sometimes get a bit lost with regards to the timings of things. I think that at some points the time went faster than I was expecting and at one point the characters were rushing, but then hit a snag and it all seemed to calm down, even though the situation hadn’t changed and time was still ticking.
Overall an enjoyable book and one that I would recommend, especially to fans of a good mystery thriller!
Alistair Birch is a thriller writer and occasional poet. His debut thriller Shadow Pursuit will be published in October 2021 and the sequel is well into its development. His poems range from rather silly to tackling deeper mental health challenges.
He can frequently be seen running around his home town and occasionally steps up to do the odd half or full marathon but this is all for fun and friendship rather than being super speedy.
Find out more about Alistair and his work by following him on social media:
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