on 14 March 2010
I made the mistake of starting this book on a week-end. Mistake because i could not put the book down and my week-end went out of the window. I read a few of Simon Kernick's novels, but this one in my humble opinion is the best of the lot.
The book starts slowly and draws you in until you are just hooked.
The main characters are Sean Egan an undercover cop and DI Tina Boyd. Egan's job is to infiltrate a top london gang and Boyd's job is to bring a serial killer to justice. Cleverly Mr Kernick intertwines both characters till you think we have reached a very satisfying result. However Mr Kernick keeps us glued to our chairs for another chapter and sadly the book ends.
All i can say is that hopefully Mr Kernick will bring back Egan and Boyd in a future novel as together they will make an incredible team.
There is always a risk when reviewing thriller genre novels in my opinion - you inadvertently giveaway the plot without realising it and then there is no point in going to buy the book! That could easily happen with this book - so I am going to try my best but I have given you fair warning.
DI Tina Boyd is a detective that likes to detect, she does not want to be stuck behind the desk detecting paperwork, she wants to be on the ground and in the action. Even when she is not meant to out on the ground, she gets involved in the arrest of The Night Creeper - a man who has killed five women and has reigned London for two years. But something about the death of one of these women, does not add up to The Night Creeper, but when all the evidence points to him, is it better if Tina just lets it go and be happy with a result, even if it is not quite justice. If you know Tina then the answer is to fight to the bitter end for the correct result.
Sean Egan is used to the world of the criminal as well as the cop - he can do both successfully. Sean Egan is an undercover cop. Similar to Tina with his work ethic he wants to get to the truth and enjoys the work on the ground. Justice is important, but Sean is carrying the burden of something happening to someone close to him. This is the justice he seeks, but do the boundaries of work and personal life become blurred and in this particular case has Sean got in too deep?
Two separate storylines, that you know are going to intertwine somewhere. They do and with some surprising results and whilst you need to keep your wits about you to follow all the different threads of the story, they weave together to a conclusion, that I did not necessarily see coming.
If you like pacy thrillers and don't mind something that gets your heart racing, this could well be the book for you!
I have to say that this is the only book I have ever started and read completely within 6 hours!! It is a fantastic plot, two story lines of two different detectives, that ultimately join into the main plot of the story. And even at the end when you think it is all sorted - another five chapters of thrilling action!!! I cannot praise Simon Kernick enough - this is one fantastic read from start to finish and I highly recommend you try it ..
on 2 January 2011
Excellent entertainment but you have to suspend belief as the bodies mount up and each new twist emerges.If you want realistic crime fiction read Graham Hurley's excellent books,if you're wondering where Lee Child has gone wrong recently then this book is for you as Sean Egan wades through piles of bodies despite an ever-increasing list of serious injuries in a manner that makes Jack Reacher look like a big girl's blouse.
Plenty of graphic violence and I laughed out loud at some of it,possibly not Simon Kernick's intention,as it sometimes bordered on "Tom and Jerry",and thankfully he didn't kill off every character as that would have stuffed the sequel....but it was a close run thing.
If this sounds critical it's not,I loved it,just don't take it too seriously and you will as well,I actually read it cover to cover one cold Sunday afternoon,once I'd started I didn't want to stop.Looking forward to Mr Kernick's next effort immensely.
on 12 January 2011
Simon Kernick's books always hook you from the first line to the last and `The Last 10 Seconds' is no exception. I would put it up there as my favourite Kernick book alongside `The Crime Trade'. You get two perspectives as a complex series of crimes is unravelled & from two cops who are both anti-heroes, Tina Boyd and Sean Egan. Neither plays by the rule book, and both have a personal need for revenge. Kernick likes a good anti-hero but for me Undercover Cop Egan was his best yet and I hope he returns in another book. The story is really all about Boyd and Egan, who both admit they are `too alike' by the end, but the central crime plot is also strong - a serial killer's crimes are used to mask a murder that connects the Government, corrupt policeman and murderous underworld gangs. All is revealed at great pace - roll on the next Kernick adaventure.
on 11 July 2011
Another great book from Simon Kernick. As with all the others, I read it within 2 days, just could not put it down. The plot swisted and turned, the characters very lifelike and the way he writes, makes you believe you're there. Looking forward to his next one.
on 2 September 2011
A brutal serial killer dubbed the 'Night Creeper' is finally arrested on the streets of North London after torturing and then killing five women during his two year reign of terror. DI Tina Boyd and the team responsible for his capture should be celebrating, and they are. However, Tina has a nagging doubt that won't go away. Is Andrew Kent, the man they have captured, really the Night Creeper?
As Tina delves further, she discovers that the Night Creeper's murders are part of a much larger criminal conspiracy and her quest to uncover the truth puts her in extreme danger, as she discovers there are some people out there who want her silenced - permanently.
Meanwhile Sean Egan, an undercover cop, has infiltrated one of the UK's most notorious criminal gangs and is determined to bring its members to justice, even if it means risking his life.
Sean has a personal score to settle and Tina has a few issues and uncertainties herself. The only thing that is certain is that they are both going to have a fight on their hands, just to stay alive.
The start of the book introduces us to a very bloody and battered Sean Egan; seriously wounded after being shot, he is slouched on the floor in an old disused building surrounded by dead bodies. DI Tina Boyd enters the room just as Sean is believing he is about to die, but then more shots are fired.
We are then taken back to 37 hours earlier and find DI Tina Boyd and her squad about to apprehend a serial killer - the' Night Creeper'.
What follows is a rollercoaster of a read which follows two different characters, Tina and Sean, featuring in alternate chapters as they battle their way through extreme danger to uncover the truth in what starts out as two different storylines, but which later ultimately ties them together.
If you are familiar, as I am, with Simon Kernick's work, then you will undoubtedly know that you are in for fast-paced relentless action when you pick up one of his books and once again he does not disappoint.
DI Tina Boyd has featured in other novels of Kernick's but the reader does not need to have read any of these to understand this book. Tina is a flawed detective, good at her job, but struggling with a drink problem which sees her finding it hard to complete a shift without having a drink. Some of her history is briefly explained, for those who may not have read the other books and it is understandable why she struggles. Her career is all she has and she is determined to keep it, as she has a score to settle.
Sean Egan on the other hand is still haunted by the murder of his brother 15 years earlier. A war hero, his brother was left wounded and facially disfigured by an attack whilst serving in the Gulf war. Out in London one day, he apprehends some robbers and pays the ultimate price with his life as he is shot by the robbers making their getaway. Before shooting him the killer calls him a 'freak'.
Sean remains desperate to hunt down his brother's murderer and bring him to justice.
The book flows really well with the character of Sean being described in the first person and the chapters featuring Tina in the third person. Both headstrong, flawed characters, each with their own agendas as well as doing their job, this is a breath of fresh air away from the usual good cops doing their jobs to bring criminals to justice, which can sometimes make for a less than exciting read.
Here though, the action is literally non-stop from start to finish with many chapters ending on a cliffhanger line which saw me quickly turning the page to find out what happens next. Indeed I am not ashamed to admit I was actually holding my breath on several occasions!
Kernick has excelled himself with this book. I have read and enjoyed some of his other novels but sometimes felt they were a little far-fetched in places. Here however, I think he has got the balance just right and although once again the entire story takes place over a couple of days, I didn't think the timescale was unbelievable.
What starts out as an interesting read anyway, quickly becomes something much deeper and complex with plenty of twists throughout as nothing goes smoothly. Indeed no sooner have they caught the notorious Night Creeper than he finds an alibi for one of the murders, is poisoned whilst being held in custody and then gets hijacked from the ambulance on the way to hospital and vanishes with his kidnappers.
This is just the first twist in this thrilling page-turner and they don't stop there. I had no idea how this book was going to end and several times when I began to think I knew what was going to happen next, something else would be thrown up to prove me wrong and so I was kept guessing right until the end.
on 17 February 2010
On the one hand this book is brilliant - as usual with Kernick the plot and pace are fast & furious and I cannot put the book down until I have read it all (4 hours!!)
BUT.... I have read all of his books and I am beginning to wonder if the plot will ever change - the main character with emotional / drink problems has a single minded cavalier approach to policing. Gets caught up in dangerous situations and gets injured / kidnapped / hunted down. Finally, ignoring everything and everyone, solves the case on their own and just as you think its over there is a cunning twist that puts them in peril again.
Thats why this gets 3 stars - I love the read but the plot is so predicatable.
on 10 February 2011
I started this book on the way to work and was immediately captive to the plot. Henceforth I looked forward to every opportunity to read more. In quiet moments, I tried to think through what was happening in either the Sean Egan thread or in the context of Tina Boyd and her colleagues' investigations but I was completely out-foxed by Mr Kernick.
It is difficult to imagine how tense and stressful being under-cover can get but I believe the portrayal in this book probably gets very close to the feelings, reactions and experience?
I enjoyed the story and the very entertaining sub-plots and the skilfull inter-weaving, so I do not wish to go into detail in case a comment spoils it. Suffice to say I was happy with the outcomes and thoroughly enjoyed the characters. Some of the people we met were new and some will be familiar faces from Simon's previous stories.
A very enjoyable read and superb story-telling - Many thanks to the author.
on 13 March 2014
Bought this for hubby, he likes Dan Brown's book but thought i'd get this for a change of Aurthur, he said is was very slow at the start but by the time he got half way he was gripped, had good twist at the end and did enjoy once he'd finished it.