Action-packed as a Bond movie


Die Alone | Simon Kernick

Kernick’s books are like Bond movies — non-stop action and excitement — but with murder rather than spying as the central theme. Die Alone (the last of a trilogy but can very well be read as a standalone) starts with a prison riot and doesn’t let up from there.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Alastair Sheridan has it all. Wealth, good looks, a beautiful wife and children and […] a real chance of becoming Prime Minister. But Alastair also has a secret. He’s a serial killer with a taste for young women. Only a handful of people know what kind of monster he is, and disgraced detective Ray Mason is one of them. Awaiting trial for murder, Ray is unexpectedly broken free by armed men and given an offer: assassinate Alastair Sheridan and begin a new life abroad with a new identity. The men claim to be from MI6. […] Ray knows they are not who they say they are, and that their real motives are far darker. The only person Ray trusts is ex-cop and former lover Tina Boyd who’s keen to settle her own scores with Sheridan. With enemies on every side, only one thing is certain. No one wants them to get out alive. 

If you’re looking for distraction, this’ll do the job. From the psycho politician, to Ray and Tina, to Ray’s ‘trusted’ underworld contacts, nobody is playing by the rules. There are villains at every turn and plenty of nastiness.

Is it well written? Well, it’s properly proofread, if that’s what you mean. You didn’t, of course. OK, let’s just say it’s as well written as it needs to be to get the story told. The characters are cardboard cut-outs. There’s no ‘show’, just ‘tell’.* This happens then this happens then this. It’s so packed with action that you can’t get bored, but don’t expect to really give a damn what happens to anyone.

* [Skilled fiction writers “Show, don’t tell”. In other words, they describe something in a way that readers can deduce for themselves what is meant, rather than just telling them directly.]

My thanks to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for giving me a free copy of this book. All my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, regardless of how I acquire the book.


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