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Target [Hardcover]

Simon Kernick
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Jun 2009
Did someone try to kill me or am I going mad? When writer Rob Fallon gets drunk one night and ends up joining his best-friend’s girlfriend, Jenny, in her apartment in London’s West End, he’s feeling guilty before anything’s even happened. But guilt quickly turns to shock when two men break into the apartment, abduct Jenny, and try to kill Rob. But when Rob reports the abduction to the police no one believes him. Jenny’s father claims she’s on holiday abroad, her apartment appears untouched, and the doorman didn’t see or hear anything. Rob can’t let things lie - not with Jenny’s life in danger. But when he starts asking questions, he finds himself the target of killers . But what is it they’re so desperate to hide? And what does it have to do with an ordinary girl like Jenny? Either Rob finds out, or he’s dead. It’s that simple ...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (19 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593060032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593060032
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,424 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

Amazon Review

Simon Kernick has been giving the British thriller a thorough wash-and-rinse, making it clear that American writers don’t have a monopoly on uncompromising, stripped-to-the-bone crime narratives. And Target, Kernick’ latest contribution to the field, matches its predecessors in remorseless energy.

The Business of Dying, the first in his bestselling sequence of London-based novels, was crammed full of fresh and original touches in a tale dealing with a rogue policeman making short work of drug-dealing heavies. The six books by Kernick since then have maintained the momentum, and Target shows no sign of letting up.

Writer Rob Fallon, considerably the worse for wear, ill-advisedly visits the flat of Jenny, the girlfriend of his best friend. But before the guilt he’s feeling can really take hold, two men smash their way into the apartment, try to kill Rob and abduct the terrified Jenny. But when Rob attempts to report these events to the police, he finds himself in a markedly Hitchcockian situation; he is disbelieved on all sides. The doorman saw nothing, the apartment is undamaged, and Jenny’s father blithely claims she is vacationing in another country. Rob, however, won’t let things be, and begins investigations of his own; what is the nature of the cover-up? And will Rob find out the truth before the two men who tried to kill him finish the job?

This a different kind of thriller from those we now expect from Simon Kernick: more streamlined, slicker (in the best sense of that word) and with a machine-tooled narrative brio that will make it difficult for any reader to put down after the first chapter. Kernick’s upwards trajectory continues. --Barry Forshaw


"The pace is breakneck, the plot twists like a hooked eel... The sort of book that forces you to read so fast you stumble over the words" Evening Standard --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst Kernick book 22 Mar 2010
By Paul
I have read all of Simon Kernick's books and enjoyed them. This one however is a total washout. A weak plot, ludicrous inconsistencies and very predictable. It read like Kernick had pulled it together over the weekend and the publisher let it through without reading it.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive and page-turning! 12 Feb 2010
By Lucinda
Simon Kernick's novels read like films! They've got great chase sequences, and I love all the twists and turns he puts in along the way. In Target an ordinary bloke finds himself the wrong end of a crime through no fault of his own, and then with his own life in danger has to find out what's going on. I really liked the hero, Rob Fallon - but the true star is police-woman Tina Boyd who has her own secret to keep. Brilliant stuff! I've read all of Mr Kernick's books so far, and can't wait to read the new one. Definitely a five-star novel.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dear Amazon, please grant us negative rating 20 Mar 2012
By K. N.
Amazon should implement a minus sign. Seriously. This is one of the very few books, that fully deserves -4 stars.
And mind you, I am not easily impressed, I read a lot.

Such books constitute an inverted elite, actually. It is not that they are badly written (this one started in an enticing way actually). It is that they insult the reader's intelligence. When I came across this writer's specific plot twist, I felt insulted, I felt he was writing for a kindergarten audience. There is a very specific writing convention: what you write it has to be real within the context of your story.

I can very well believe that a man can pick up a 00:01 nuclear bomb and throw it to outer space, so that it explodes in a black hole, if I am reading a superhero novel.
Now put this scene in Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" where the hero tries to impress his ex.
Working for you? Nah...

In a nutshell: Do not spend any money to buy this book. If you feel compelled by this and the other reviews to read it, then borrow it from a public library, or ask it from an unfortunate friend who paid for it.

When you have read it, you will understand the -4 stars. I keep the -5 rating for the next worst thing.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kernick just get's better and better! 18 Jun 2009
By MisterX
What a roller-coaster ride of a book! As usual Kernick hits the spot when it comes to creating a real page turner that you simply just cannot put down once started, when compared to his earlier books such as The Murder Exchange for example you can really see how he has come on as a writer.

It's a taut tale and similar to most of his books post Relentless involves a main character that you can believe in and put yourself in their own shoes whilst events from way out of their world and comfort zone tumble down on top of them like an avalanche. What would "you" do in their shoes? I think that's been the secret to Mr Kernick's major success since Relentless in writing such a style of book. There are twists and turns in this book that leave the mind spinning and some things that you will never see coming. His best book? For me pretty much yes, on a par with the excellent Severed I'd say which I also could not put down. The trouble is now another long wait until his next new novel, at least that will be in January 2010 and not June.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 7 Feb 2010
Never read any of Simon Kernick's books and came across this in a well known high street book store and then ordered it on Amazon. I am not an avid reader and tend only to read on holidays etc. This book captured my attention from the first page and I read it in record time for me. I liked the pace of the story and the short chapter format. I was so impressed by this author that I have bought a few more of his books for my forthcoming holidays. I would highly recommend this book as a cracking good read.
I have bought a few more second hand books by this author from Amazon and I have found the service to be first class and the books to be in very good condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great story 13 Aug 2014
By Julian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book, great story, great writer. If you like thrillers, this is not to be missed. Simon Kernick is certainly on a par with Peter James.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to standard 19 May 2013
Although I have never been a great fan of Kernick, his books are usually readable and his plots semi-believable. However this time he has fallen off the rails.
The plot is fantastical and gets worse as things go on. He fails to provide reasons for things happening and the book is poorly written. It all hangs together badly.
Far from his best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Target 11 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another fab book - couldn't put it down! Just about to download the next one... I love the summer holidays!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, for me rivals Harlem Coben
Brilliant,for me rivals Harlem Coben
Published 4 days ago by Gillian Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellant good book good company to buy from
Published 24 days ago by Lynn ahsam
5.0 out of 5 stars Another nail bitting read.
Published 2 months ago by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling from start to the end.
This is a thrilling read from start to the end. Simon has done his research on the police activities in crime investigations. Read more
Published 5 months ago by nidri
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Good book, exciting cover to cover read delivered easily to my kindle and was a magnificent read and I'd recommend to anyone.
Published 5 months ago by david8626
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This book is absolutely brilliant. I have read several Simon Kernick novels and I haven't read a bad one yet.
I could not put it down and cannot wait to read the next one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Winkle
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read not exactly Pulitzer prize stuff
Easy read not exactly Pulitzer prize stuff!!

The plot a little weak in places especially letting the main character being exposed by one of the hero cops
Published 10 months ago by tonyfeasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Telling
Whilst each book is a separate story characters appear and overlap in different stories thus interweaving and giving a little more to each background
Published 10 months ago by E A JONES
4.0 out of 5 stars Target
Another good book from Simon Kernick. I really loved it. Can not wait until his new book comes out so I can start reading one of his books again.
Published 10 months ago by Vicky James
2.0 out of 5 stars Started well .......
It started well ....but then it became ridiculously complicated and long-winded and I lost the plot and interest all at the same time
Published 12 months ago by Madge
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