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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Matthew Reilly - Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves

 review written and read live on the show by Brian Lowen 24th July 2014
This book is out of this world – a cross between Clive Cussler, James Patterson and Ian Fleming. You have to forget anything about common sense when you read it and just take it for what it is: complete escapism.

Our hero is Shane Schofield, a top flight US Marine who has just returned from an exhausting mission which finished with a bounty being placed on his head by the French Government. Several French assassins have tried to finish him off without success.

To get him away from this danger he is sent off to a remote area on the arctic pack ice to test some new weapons and equipment to see how they stand up to the extreme cold.

Meanwhile our villain, Marius Calderon with a small army of murderous villains has captured a remote island in the arctic that had been a testing site for Russian weapons and is busily laying plans to annihilate China and northern Europe by releasing a cloud of deadly inflammable gas that will be carried around the world on the Jetstream. The plan is that Russia will get the blame and the Americas will reign supreme.

When the president of the USA gets wind of what is happening on Dragon Island he contacts Schofield, code name Scarecrow, and
sends him off to stop this cloud of gas being ignited by a nuclear missile fired from the island, which happens to be quite close to the testing site where Schofield and his team are working. And so Scarecrow and his small band of marines and scientists set out across the pack ice to save the world.

The island is deemed impregnable with many sophisticated defence systems. A further complication occurs when a French submarine pops up through the ice and disgorges Veronique Champion and a bunch of assassins out to get Schofield. He rescues them from an attack by the island army and persuades them to join him in the fight against Calderon and his army and so save the world.

This is when you have to forget about picking holes in all the actions as not being possible and just sit back and let yourself be carried along with this completely improbable story.

Good escapism, but not for the squeamish or faint hearted. You just have to remember that it is all fiction.

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