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Monday, 24 October 2016

Tom Winship – The Opposite of Mercy

review by showhost oct 2016

VAL McDermid describes it as an intense, gripping, scary, thriller.

Hmm, I would say thriller yes.  if you like Tom Wood you will like this.

The story is set in England, present day.  Ex soldier Paul Curtis is approached by an old friend’s father who asks him to be an undercover bodyguard for his son, Chris. He wants Paul to discreetly organise a chance meeting which would renew their friendship.  The fathers involvement has to remain secret as the father and son are estranged.  In return Paul would be paid handsomely and housed in a nice pad in Camden.  Chris, lives in Camden with his Asian girlfriend Lara, who is also known to Paul as the three of them were childhood friends.  What Paul isn’t told is that Lara’s brother, Pasha Durrani is involved in organised crime who have links with a terrorist network in Pakistan.  Pasha has an arranged marriage organised for Lara, which she was unaware of, and he wants Chris out of her life.

Andy Mc call works for the London special branch, they have been following Pasha and bugged his house and car. They want him for drug dealing and property laundering, they know he is linked with the terrorist group.  They are unaware of Paul becoming involved but they are aware of the mounting anger happening between brother and sister, once Pasha has told Lara of his plans, and escalating violence.  Pasha needs the marriage to happen to get his property deal done, his life is at stake.

I had to re-read the first few pages to begin with as it wasn’t capturing my attention but once in I got going there were chapters which gripped.  But for me the ending spoilt it. Fight scenes don't read very well for me, especially over 50 pages of it at the end with lots of steps and a boat house which was at the top of a cliff..... How do you get a boat up there?  The writer should be setting the scene with words for you to imagine and a boat house, to me, conjures up a place nearly level with the sea so to suddenly have the villains and heroes running up and down cliff steps didn’t fit my image.  I think it deserves to be read if you like thrillers/action books based in UK.

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