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Relentless [Mass Market Paperback]

Simon Kernick
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 May 2007

John Meron, a happily married father of two who's never been in trouble, receives a phone call that will change his life for ever: his friend Jack Calley, a high-flying City lawyer, is screaming down the phone for help. As Meron listens, Calley is murdered. His last words, spoken to his killer, are the first two lines of Meron's address.

Confused and terrified, Meron scoops up his children and hurries out of the house. Just in time. Within minutes, a car pulls up outside, and three men get out. It's clear that they're coming for him. He's being hunted and has no idea why.

And with his wife missing, an unidentified corpse in her office, and the police after him for murder, his life's about to get one hell of a lot worse.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (21 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552153125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552153126
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Kernick is one of Britain's most exciting new thriller writers. He arrived on the crime writing scene with his highly acclaimed debut novel The Business of Dying, the story of a corrupt cop moonlighting as a hitman. However, Simon's big breakthrough came with his novel Relentless which was selected by Richard and Judy for their Recommended Summer Reads promotion, and then rapidly went on to become the bestselling thriller of 2007. Simon's research is what makes his thrillers so authentic. He talks both on and off the record to members of Special Branch, the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime. To find out more about Simon Kernick and his thrillers, please visit

Product Description


"Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight!" (Harlan Coben)

"Great plots, great characters, great action and some spectacular violence. Simon Kernick might just be the best of Britain's new-wave crime writers." (Lee Child)

"Kernick is no longer a writer to watch; he's an author to be reckoned with." (Mark Billingham)

"Simon Kernick is a rising star of British crime fiction" (Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4's Front Row)

Book Description

An unputdownable race-against-time thrilller from the rising star of British crime-writing

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately Disappointing 30 May 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There really isn't much to recommend this book for. The plot is devoid of any interesting ideas, the characters are bland and the action is pathetic. The story revolves around a simple, ordinary guy named John Meron. He's married, with two young children and a boring job. Suddenly he receives a call from his childhood's best friend and hears him being attacked. Before he dies, his friend tells the murderer Tom's address. Just like that Meron is deep inside a conspiracy that threatens his whole family and his life. He has the police after him for a murder he did not commit and gangsters torturing him for something he has no idea where it is or even what it is.
The idea that Meron is a regular boring guy in a dreadful and dangerous situation is a good one. Unfortunately the book just throws all credibility out of the window after a few pages. Soon enough the action starts pouring in with Meron fighting hand to hand with hardened criminals, in shootouts and in wild escapes from impossible situations. Unfortunately John Meron is also not a very likable character. He has no personality except being... well average. He is a also not very bright and doesn't seem to make a single good decision all through the story. The other part of the book is about a parallel investigation by the police about two murders in which Meron finds himself involved. The detective is Mike Bolt and he is a much more interesting character with some back story and at least some personality. Unfortunately the investigation, like the whole plot, never goes anywhere. Simon Kernick literally has to spend three or four pages in the end of the book explaining the plot in a phone conversation between Bolt and his partner. Bolt's whole triumph is basically asking for someone to trace a cellphone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced formulaic preposterous read... 28 Sep 2010
By Mukhape
You receive a phone call from a schoolfriend you haven't heard from in years; you hear him being murdered and giving his killers your address as he dies. You assume you have only minutes before the killers arrive at your door. This is the opening scene of "Relentless", in which our hero's response is to strap the kids into their carseats then nip back into the house to pack them an overnight bag before dropping them off at his mother-in-law's. The plot advances from one preposterous scenario to another all the way from that opener to an incriminating phone call not brought to light during a PCC investigation into a police shooting.

But to be fair, the author knows how to inject pace. Switching perspective and the ubiquitous cliffhanger chapter endings move the story along and make for a fast read. It's a potboiler with enough of a sprinkling of police procedure and an acronym or two to claim a sliver of credibility. I'm scoring it 2/5 because for all its faults, it wasn't so bad that I didn't finish it.

As for the writing: in the midst of the tabloid-reader prose and clichés, "their reciprocation was perfunctory" is a genuine laugh out loud moment. Thanks, Simon!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read 7 Aug 2007
By Bezerus Bezby VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
What do you do when you answer the phone and hear your best friend being murdered? not only that, but he has just told his killers where you live.

This is a tale which grabs you by the throat from start to finish and doesn't let up until the end. In that sense it is "relentless", as you won't be able to put it down until you know what has happened. It took me a day to read this, so hooked was I by it. Excellent holiday reading- enjoy!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read. 31 Oct 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book of Simon Kernick's I have read, but won't be the last. To begin with, I didn't enjoy the 1st person narrative right at the start of the book, but I have to say that once I overcame that, I enjoyed reading the story.

It is quick paced, interesting and convincing - the characters are believable, although I believe there is one glaring mistake in the plot - but I won't ruin it for you.

If you enjoy crime solving novels and don't want anything heavy, this is probably for you.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller that is relentless in every way 9 July 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I really enjoyed being swept along by the relentless action that pitches very ordinary Tom Meron headlong into two days of unremitting terror.

The book has two main characters; Tom Meron is the completely innocent victim who is hunted by the criminals and the police simultaneously, and DCI Mike Bolt of the National Crime Squad who leads the police investigation and hunt for Meron.

The structure of the book is unusual, the chapters seen from Tom Meron's point of view are written in the first person, but those for DCI Bolt in third person, a device that works extremely well as it changes the pace of the novel from frantic for Meron to challenging and baffling for Bolt, this device also helps to develop their characters, build tension and increase our involvement.

The chilling ex Bosnian mercenary Lench who is hunting Meron on behalf of a shadowy powerful business figure is a memorable villain.

As in all the best thrillers nothing is what it seems and everybody is lying.

Thoroughly recommended.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good to talk 3 July 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Why didn't he phone the police at the start when he heard his mate being murdered? It could have saved a lot of trouble...

That apart, decent enough plot. Ordinary writing. A bit like eating a couple of Cadbury's flakes in one go. Enjoyable while it's happening, but not very satisfying once you've finished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
The title if this book is certainly well justified - ? Non stop twists, turns and surprises from the first page.......that kept me gripped until the last!
Published 17 days ago by leeanne hughes
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad a read, not one ofhis best.
Simon Kernick is one of my favourite authors but he doesn't come up trumps for me with this one. Sorry.
Published 19 days ago by ericthered
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I would have liked a more conclusive ending although it is a good read and very exciting if you like murder mysteries
Published 1 month ago by Aunty Nan
5.0 out of 5 stars Relentless
I read this book some time ago. as a paperback, and was the first Simon Kernick book I read. I think it is one of his best and I recently re read it on my Kindle. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars review on relentless
I could not but the book down. Was still reading it well into the night and following morning. Now a fan of Simon Kernick
Published 2 months ago by Mary McGregor
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine thriller
a very enjoyable book with unexpected twists on a regular basis throughout and right up to the end. I would recommend a read
Published 2 months ago by ali
5.0 out of 5 stars go get them
Brilliant book to read a real page turner. Some bits did drag on a bit but kept you coming back for more
Published 2 months ago by josh
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A really good read, a real page turner. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Will be looking out for more books by Simon Kernick.
Published 2 months ago by Mark Disley
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
This book came recommended to me and i can honestly say im glad it did. It was my first book in this genre. I couldnt put it down read it in just over a day. Read more
Published 2 months ago by stacey faizey
5.0 out of 5 stars A READING PLEASURE
Published 2 months ago by A. J. Bainger
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