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4.6 out of 5 stars84
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2010
This book was much better than the last several Chris Ryan novels. I stopped reading a while back because I got tired of the trite, simplistic, and juvenile writing and plots. But The Kill Zone turned out to be a complex, violent, gritty, realistic thriller about terrorism and drug trafficking, with detailed descriptions of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia, and an unexpected ending that leaves room for a potential sequel. I definitely enjoyed this book a lot more than the new Frederick Forsyth and Gerald Seymour novels released this year. I hope Chris Ryan will write more books like this one.
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on 27 June 2011
This book was an epic page turner! I couldn't put this book down even to go to sleep at night. After each chapter I just wanted more; to know what was going to happen next and how the story was going to develop. This book not only engulfed my imagination but it also entranced me and kept my attention through out. A must read by all standards!
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on 13 January 2012
It should be noted that the audio CD version that I have is abridged, and read by Rupert Degas. Degas does a good job as narrator, making it clear who is talking at any given time.

The plot is interesting, and takes in Afghanistan, Somalia, Belfast and London. It's fairly complex, with several threads that come together in a surprising finish. The abridging was well done, but I suspect the full-length version is better, given the relative complexity of the plot.

There were a couple of points that bothered me. The main character is Captain Jack Harker, who it is said has been in the SAS for "more than twenty years". However, officers in the SAS do three year terms before moving on to another regiment. The other points relate to Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The Taliban capture three of these from a patrol in Afghanistan, but I do have to wonder why a patrol was carrying them, since I've not heard of the Taliban using helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft. Also, the Stingers that are fired in the book all hit their target, and I find it difficult to believe that they have a 100% hit rate. These points probably won't bother many people, but they detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of the story.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 September 2010
It's too easy to be dismissive of Chris Ryan's pumped-up action adventures. The action sequences here in The Kill Zone are joined together with a bunch of military acronyms, crude army-speak narrative ("everyone knew that word spread around this place like s- on a blanket"), stock phrases ("everyone realised that a war like this was won or lost on the ground"), and clichéd macho dialogue ("There are two kinds of luck, Jack - the luck you get and the luck you make yourself"), but it makes no claims to be great literature. When it comes to developing an exciting storyline that is packed with incident, tension, war heroics and sneering evil foreign villains, Ryan delivers. A former SAS member himself, commander of a sniper team of an anti-terrorist unit, involved in overt and covert operations, there's also no denying that Ryan writes from an authoritative position, accurately describing the world he knows, but able at the same time to spin it into a thrilling yarn.

That's certainly the case with his latest novel The Kill Zone, the story taking in operations in the Stan (that's Afghanistan for you civilians out there) of larger-than-life SAS Captain Jack Harker, as well as work of former Det surveillance officer Siobhan Byrne, an undercover operative in Belfast, where, despite the Peace Process, the ex-paramilitaries continue their involvement in organised crime. And what links the two operations? The drug trade evidently, but also another kind of trade, one that Harker and Byrne's missing daughter Lily appears to be caught up in, a nasty business that takes them to one of the most dangerous places on the face of the Earth - Somalia.

The world Ryan operates in doesn't allow for a great deal of subtlety in either the action or the characterisation - it's a case of get in, hit hard and "exfiltrate", where the people inevitably are rather too hard-edged to let the weaknesses of any genuine personality traits break through their tough exteriors. The dialogue between these one-dimensional characters is consequently often quite banal, Ryan relying on the stock characterisation of maverick action heroes and, it has to be said, racial stereotypes when it comes to describing all the dangerous foreigners who pose a threat to the stability of the world that Jack and Siobhan are fighting for.

But you're not going to be reading The Kill Zone for any insight into cultural differences or for the finer points of international diplomacy. If you're looking for fast, tough, non-stop action, heroics and explosions, imaginatively put together from a position of authority, accuracy and authenticity (with a healthy dose of creative licence of course), and some genuinely shocking twists and turns, then The Kill Zone fits the bill. Big time.
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on 23 December 2010
This is by far the best "Chris Ryan" since the vey early books. A 100% page turner with plenty of twists and turns. I have put Chris Ryan in quotes because the style and depth, as much as action novels can have depth, of writing are so different to recent books there is no way this is written by the same author whose penned the last 5 or so. I nearly gave up on these books recently they were getting so bad. Maybe I wan't exactly alone hence the change of ghost writer!
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on 2 November 2010
This is another one of his greats. This man knows how to write to keep you waiting till the end. Just as you think its all worked out another twist comes and smacks you in the face. Cant wait for the next one. FANTASTIC
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on 12 November 2010
I found this book a good read which held me from beginning to end.Having read another review I hope that Chris Ryan is the Author and the book is not as suggested written by another person. My only other comment is that I did find it bit confusing sometimes when I was suddenly transported from one situation and country to another.On the whole however I thought the book was imaginative. It looks like Chris is back to his old self well done !
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on 5 September 2013
For me, this is the best Chris Ryan novel I have read so far.
I brought it for my kindle a while ago after reading through some of the reviews and so I purchased the book recently for my eldest son who is 21, He read it within 3 days!
The action flows between various countries with ease and some of the brutal narration keeps you cringing but hooked.
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on 23 November 2010
as a big fan of his novels and all his other work,this is another excellent novel,which i highly recommend.although there are 1 or 2 technical issues i would challenge the researchers with,it has a cracking storyline and tempo and i can't help feeling that chris could be the next "jack higgins"!well worth a read and you won't be able to put it down!
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on 27 April 2011
like most of the reviewers was hooked on this book from the very start. switching from Norn Iron to Somalia and Afghanistan this was a brilliant read from start to finish and to my mind would make a brilliant movie or tv film if handled correctly. if you like the mcnab/ryan stories absolutely go for this one you will not be disappointed.
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