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THE KING OF PLAGUES By Jonathan Maberry – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2014 by stanleyriiks

If you’ve ever read a Joe Ledger novel you’ll know what to expect coming into this one, which is the third book in the series. Joe is a former Baltimore cop drawn into working for Church, the head of the mysterious US Government organisation called The Department of Military Sciences. When the London Hospital in Whitechapel, London is blown up Ledger is called upon to investigate, but the thousand killed in the hospital blast are just the first in a rein of terror planned by the Seven Kings, a powerful terrorist organisation that spans the globe. Can Ledger and his team thwart the terrorists as he chases them around the world always one step behind…

The Ledger novels are kind of modern James Bond stories, part thriller, part pulp novel, all action. The mix is intoxicating, and Maberry writes with a speedy style that keeps you reading (page turner), and excited (edge of your seat).

Ok, so there always seems to be a point where things turn from going drastically downhill, no matter how desperate the situation is the goodies always work out who and what’s going on, and it’s usually a touch deus ex machina… It’s a little clumsy in this book, but can be overlooked.

Blisteringly entertaining, global and intense, Maberry delivers the kind of thriller that will have you begging for more. Bring on book four!

DYING WORDS By Shaun Hutson – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2010 by stanleyriiks

I like Shaun Hutson. His books are invariably entertaining. Mindless violence, action-packed, thrill-a-minute page-turners, Hutson provides a Hollywood Blockbuster of a novel.

Dying Words, whilst not his best work, is still a good solid read, and offers some nice insight into Hutson’s mind as we see two writers, one a grossly successful horror writer, the other an intellectual biographer, both are prime suspects in a murder. Then another body turns up. Then another. Detective Inspector Birch has no clues, the murders were committed in closed rooms, flats or houses, all locked from the inside. But as Birch digs deeper he starts to find out secrets that no one wants uncovered…

What starts off as a simple crime novel, ends with a fantastic twist that unfortunately doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It wouldn’t have been believable at all if it had, but the lead-up is pretty clear.

Although the book lets down with the lack of surprise, it’s still a Hutson book, rip-roaring action throughout, and unflinching in every sense. Hutson peers into the nooks and crannies other writers are afraid to even think of, and that’s what we want.

Shaun Hutson churns out his books with such regularity that it’s hard for the average reader to keep up, in which case if you haven’t read one of his novels there are better ones out there, but for the passionate fan or collector then this will fit nicely on your shelf with the rest of Huston’s novels.

It’s a shame that I’ve recently read a similarly themed book by Paul Kane, which does the whole crime/horror novel with a little more skill and panache, and after that I’m afraid that Hutson doesn’t quite measure up.

Of course Hutson still delivers his trade-mark in-your-face style and plenty of action, the first few chapters alone are brilliant. But Dying Words doesn’t work as well of other books of a similar kind, and Hutson has produced better. Not his best and not his worst, and who wants to read middle-of-the-road anyway?