Hard to be original in the space that is probably owned by the likes of Andy McNab, but somehow Mackenzie Smith does it. I think the key here is that he never seems to let the plot go in the conventional direction that you might be expecting, this was very true of his first novel and the principle is repeated here.
This is a follow up to "Who pays the Piper" but you could probably get away without reading that first. With this we have an interesting premise, a "Regiment of the Dead", guys who appear to be no longer with us but still work in the shadows. A geat premise, but the reality is the 'regiment' is just a handful of guys into which our hero from the first book is initiated. His first mission is to replace a couple of radicalised Brits and go, with a colleague, into a mission of integration and assassination. I have to say I had my doubts about how two white Brits (one of whom is pretty middle class) could replace a couple of muslims from Leicester, but let us move on. Oh, and before I do, some minor stuff about them, once amongst their new "friends" there seems no inclination to pray or act as if radicalised. But now to move on,
Things do not go well and our good guys find themselves in a spot of bother and that is where the book really works, no clean cut solutions and a plot that is hard to predict. This is where the author comes to life, putting his characters in situations and then not following your expectations.
An author that needs some polishing but there is something really good in his thrillers.
on 17 January 2014
This book is a fantastic sequel to 'Who pays the piper,' and is very hard to put down, very engaging, shocking, gritty - a little far fetched in places, but very entertaining none the less.
However, if you are a former smoker who occasionally has the odd fly ciggy, but is trying to kick the habit permanently, then I'd suggest having some form of nicotine replacement medium to hand. The main characters - heck, damn near all the characters, smoke, and smoke a lot, and it is often depicted, frequently throughout the narrative. I didn't break but - I could still do with one at this particular moment!!!
on 15 November 2013
A great read, really enjoyed this. I bought it after reading Who Pays the Piper and it follows on the story line but also stands alone (so don't worry if you haven't read the first book). A look at the world of extremism, military subterfuge and the workings of governments from the inside with characters you care about (and some you don't). The plot is tight, I couldn't see what was coming next, peppered with barbaric acts of violence - written into the plot necessarily. These are tough to read - tough because things like this do happen - we just don't want to acknowledge it! Highly recommended
on 24 October 2013
I was eager to get my hands of this follow up to the excellent "Who Pays the Piper." When it arrived I immediately sat down to get my teeth into it and ended up finishing the whole book in two sittings!!! It is a well written, (you really do feel like you are right there on the front line) and very exciting yarn, and a worthy sequel. I hope we get more from Mackenzie. Top reading! I challenge you, once picked up, to put it down........