51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly riveting
'The Payback' is a fast paced and addictive book which I had pre-ordered as Simon Kernick is one of my favourite authors.
Fugitive Dennis Milne, a former English Police Officer has been wanted by Interpol on murder charges for almost a decade. He's a killer available for hire but with a conscious.
DI Tina Boyd is a serving officer with London's...
Published on 18 Feb 2011 by Midnight
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loose Ends
Simon Kernick is one of the few writers whose books I buy in hardback because I rate his thrillers so much, but The Payback was a bit of a let down.
The pace is fast and furious as I've come to expect from Kernick, but somehow it didn't work quite so well this time round. The two main characters are well drawn, but most of the bad guys are two-dimensional...
Published on 5 April 2011 by Mr Parrot
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great,
This review is from: The Payback (Kindle Edition)I love Simon Kernick books and this one was as brillliant as any of his others,I just wish Id read them in order!
3.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive,The Business of Dying and would recommend that as the best Dennis Milne book. In Payback, Tina Boyd and Dennis Milne appear.
This book's plot was pretty see-through and repetitive. Scenes and dialogue gave me a sense of deja-vu, particularly to the second book A Good Day to Die in the Milne series. Scenes felt unnecessarily drawn out, particularly since the scenes which included interaction between the protagonists and some antagonists appeared very similar even within this one book.
The morality got old really fast, particularly after reading all three Milne books in succession. The protagonists ponder endlessly on the morality of their actions and still do the same thing eventually which simply stretches out predictable scenes that we've all read before (if we've read the other books of the Milne series).
Some scenes and actions appear to be added simply for cheap thrills and combine nicely with the endless moaning on whether or not they'd have "the guts" to kill someone in cold blood. How predictable that the villain might escape while you take your sweet time to ponder on whether or not to kill him.
Another major problem I have with Kernick's Milne series which became more and more obvious during its course are the villains' characterizations. There's really only one villain with different names because essentially they are all the same from a characterization perspective. Utterly vile, despicable and predictable with no depth at all. They are all pedophiles and ugly to boot!
Overall, that makes a rather stale plot which partly feels like a cop-out by the author. He takes the easy way out by on the one hand boosting Milne's sympathy rating via repetitive musings on morality and on the other hand creating unrealistic comic-book villains who aren't very interesting.
This was less noticable in the first book The Business of Dying where I felt the characterisations were less clear-cut and Milne himself had more depth.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and unstoppable!!,
This review is from: The Payback (Kindle Edition)I absolutely loved this book. As a series of three it was a wonderful adventure. I felt able to go through the various trials and tribulations Milne experienced understanding why he reacted the way he did. The twists and turns were phenominal and all very believeable. Fabulous book, great story, wonderful characters. Very highly recommened.
5.0 out of 5 stars payback by simon kernick,
4.0 out of 5 stars Kill or be killed,
5.0 out of 5 stars another winner,
5.0 out of 5 stars payback a mastertrack,
This review is from: The Payback (Kindle Edition)This is a terrific piece of writing. Its gripping, plausible and outrageous all in one bundle. Dennis Milnes swansong with a touch of Tina Boyd is a great twist. The exotic locations are handled beautifully and its a perfect escape from a grey english day the moment the reader takes to the page.
It is a roadtrip journey with a whole plethera of situations and interesting characters some dealt with vengfully and others ducking under the radar. The whole book is a bit of a masterpiece really. My favourite Kernick so far, beyond the siege. Outstanding 'read'.
4.0 out of 5 stars It's payback time.,
DI Tina Boyd is also in Manila, on her own and hunting down the man responsible for the death of her lover. She knows just how dangerous and ruthless he is but she is determined to bring him to justice.
Dennis and Tina, a cop and an ex-cop both with pasts that haunt them are now facing a future that could see them both dead. It is a risk however that for Tina especially, she is willing to take as it is time for some payback.
The Payback sees DI Tina Boyd returning once again, but this time instead of being a supporting character she is actually the main character here. Previous novels have seen her building up many reasons to want the man responsible for killing her lover brought to justice and here she finally decides enough is enough after another killing takes place. After an attempt on her own life, she goes off alone to Manila to seek revenge without her superior's knowledge, after repeated attempts by the police fail to track down the man responsible.
Ex-policeman turned assassin Dennis Milne, is also a returning character and I am aware he featured in Kernick's 2005 novel, A Good Day To Die, but this is not one I have personally read. Despite not being aware of Milne prior to this novel, I found Kernick provided all the information I needed to know about him just as he does with Tina Boyd, so I can safely say from my own experience that once again it does not matter if you have no previous knowledge of one of the characters and it does not spoil your enjoyment or understanding of the story at all. The story dips into Milne's past for a little while but this allows the reader to understand Milne and I think Kernick describes the guilt and feelings Milne experiences very well, allowing you to see he is more than just a cold-blooded assassin. You wouldn't expect to have any sympathy for a hitman, but Milne proves he has compassion and his struggles to jusitfy what he does makes for some interesting reading.
The majority of the story takes place in Manila, where Milne has been sent to carry out an 'assignment' for his employer, Dutch gangster Bertie Schagel. Ensuing events see his path cross with that of Tina Boyd and the two form an unlikely partnership which is life-changing for Milne and carries out a whole load of new dangers as he makes a major decision which could ulitmately end his life.
This is actually the first novel of Kernick's where I found the action to be spread out over a longer period of time. The characters actually go to bed, days pass and ultimately you are not left feeling how could all that possibly have happened in one day. The slightly slower pace gives this novel a more realistic feel in terms of time and authenticity.
The 'unbeliveable' aspect is probably the fact that Tina Boyd takes off to Manila alone to seek justice and revenge when knowing exactly how dangerous the guy she is seeking is. I also found myself wondering how she manages to come through such bloody violence relatively unscathed in parts of the book, but it does add to the excitement as long as you don't take the story too seriously and simply enjoy it for what it is.
There weren't any real shocks in The Payback but the suspense and tension are always present. I still enjoyed it from start to finish and credit particularly should be given to Kernick's development of Dennis Milne. The mixture of cold-blooded assassin with flashes of increasing guilt for what he does ensures sympathy develops for his plight, despite me initially thinking there was no way I would actually have any sympathy for him.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding read,
This review is from: The Payback (Kindle Edition)Loved this book from page-1 and was sad when it ended. Seeing Milne and Boyd again was like being reunited with old friends. Great plot. Great read. Worth every penny.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Drama,
This latest caper set in the Philippines highlights two of Mr. Kernick's most popular protagonists: Tina Boyd, the exciting and feisty police office and Dennis Milne, a former cop who is now earning his living by accepting contract killings. A third player is Paul Wise a recurring villain, he is well known as an international crime boss and cruel pedophile.
It opens when Dennis is sent to Manila to carry out an "assignment" for his employer Bertie Schagel (Paul Wise's right hand man), his target is a journalist. Tina is also in the city, on leave from the force with the hope of settling accounts. She has scheduled a meeting with the same journalist to gather information as to the whereabouts of Paul Wise, the man who left her for dead and killed her ex-lover. When Paul realises he is targeted by Tina, he gives the order to have Dennis eliminate her also. When Dennis realises his second target is a beautiful, innocent woman and a police officer he is unable to fulfill his boss' wishes and knows by doing this he has put an even bigger target on himself. His only alternative is to join forces with Tina and go after the head of the snake. Their encounter is completely explosive and when you add to the mix a notorious villain you have a fast-paced and action-packed plot that is guaranteed to put boredom at bay for another day.
Mr. Kernick's characterization is outstanding, Dennis, for one is portrayed as a cold-blooded murderer but he has so much depth and heart it is hard not to empathize with him at times, the others characters are equally well developed in their own roles. The author has provided a lot of Dennis' back history to make this novel exciting on its own and has brought to light some loose ends from previous installments. However my gut feeling is I should have started with "The Business of Dying ", all of his novels are definitely on my TBR list, time will tell.
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The Payback by Simon Kernick