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OUR LIVES IN HIS HANDS
on 9 October 2011
Fourteen and a quarter years old. Coke is his tipple, it of little consequence whether shaken or stirred. Special gadgets this time are no ordinary mobile phone, key ring and bubble gum. Having antagonized Triad members (about 19,000 now after him), he has been despatched by MI6 to help the CIA - destination an island just off Cuba. Yes, Alex Rider is back for a third adventure - very exciting it is too.
More formidable villains! General Alexei Sarov is determined to restore Russia to its former glory - a nuclear bomb should do the trick. His henchman Conrad is a force to be reckoned with - he somehow reassembled after blown up, nothing about him even approximately matching.
Alex himself remains enormously appealing, he as ever the reluctant hero being shamelessly used by top brass who should know better. Without relatives, he longs to be part of a real family and to enjoy a more normal life. Millions of readers hope otherwise.
Horowitz's 2010 edition Afterword tells of the research that goes into the locations chosen. Prepare for revelations about what lies beneath Wimbledon's tennis courts!