Review by Brian Lowen read out live on bookshow 28th Mrch 2013
I am so glad to have found an author where every one of his books is a cracker, and this is no exception. A tense, absorbing thriller, packed with action.
The scene is set at the Stanhope Hotel, one of the top hotels in London.
The Manager, Elena Serenko, has just made a life changing decision to quit her job and start a new life with her fiance in Australia. Upstairs, several guests feature in the story: a young women waits for her lover; an American family get ready for a night out; a sick man contemplates his suicide; a skilled and dangerous killer is hunting a quarry that has eluded him for far too long.
A bomb is set off in a train as it pulls into a London station followed by another suicide bomber who sets his bomb off in the crowd of onlookers. But this is only a diversion to keep the emergency services occupied while the main action happens at the hotel as a group of ruthless gunmen burst into the hotel kitchens, shooting indiscriminately, killing many members of staff, and rounding up hostages.
The gunmen secure the hotel, booby trap all the doors and herd all the hostages into two groups in the ballroom and the dining room. Elena is forced to give up her master key so that the gunmen can search all the hotel rooms for more hostages, several of whom get shot when they fail to comply with the gunmen’s demands.
Several sub plots emerge involving the anonymous killer, the sick man and the young women who is a honey trap for a senior government minister who has some important information the terrorists are seeking.
DAC Arley Dale is the senior Police officer put in charge of the hostage crisis at the hotel, but when her family are kidnapped by other gunmen working with the hotel terrorists she is put in a terrible heart-stopping situation as the gunmen demand to know the battle plan of the expected attack by the SAS.
The tension slowly mounts up to the dramatic finale. Another great thriller from Simon Kernick. Thoroughly recommended if you enjoy good thrillers.