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3.9 out of 5 stars
We All Fall Down
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Once again, author Simon Wood has delivered an excellent chase thriller, with likeable protagonists and fairly plausible villains. The story moves at a breakneck pace, with action set-piece following set-piece as the hero and his companion attempt to discover the truth behind a series of suspicious deaths connected to an engineering company.

Unfortunately, to ensure the main characters remain in constant jeopardy, the author has them refuse to divulge key information to the police. The reasons given for this choice seem weak and poorly reasoned for two supposedly-intelligent characters and jar against the otherwise excellent story.

However, this is the third of Simon Wood's novels that I have reviewed and I can say honestly that I am very much looking forward to the next opportunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the fourth of this author's books which I have read over the last few months. He does not take the arguably easier route of writing a series of books with the same characters, but creates completely new standalone tales each time. They are not formulaic either as all of the scenarios created are quite different. This was one of Simon Wood's earlier books and it is, perhaps, not as strong as his more recent work as he has clearly refined his craft as he has gone along. It is, however, still a good read.

Hayden is introduced by his old friend, Shane, to his company as a contractor to work on an important project. However, a few days previously a scientist working on the same project has apparently committed suicide. Once Shane starts work, he has a disturbing email from a clearly distressed Shane and more deaths follow.

Shane's sister, Rebecca and Hayden work together to try to find out what is happening. One has to say they do not seem to approach the problem in the most logical way and generally adopt an ill judged go it alone style and have a tendency to trust the wrong people. They seem to be up against a totally unscrupulous group, who, somewhat surprisingly and despite their normal ruthless efficiency appear to have trouble dealing with Hayden once and for all.

The story builds up to an exciting and action packed climax. However, I did feel that that the ending was perhaps not the strongest part of the story. It all concludes rather abruptly and predictably and leaves the reader feeling just a little dissatisfied. However, overall it is a good, if a little improbable story and an enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
This is the third Simon Wood novel I have read. Borrowed it from the Kindle Lending Library. As with his other books there is plenty if action and twists and turns. Hayden is brought in on a contract with an engineering company by his friend Shane but there is a confidentiality clause that he has to sign stating that if he breaks it he will be liable to pay $10m. Shane then seemingly commits suicide, not long after another employee does the same however he had sent an email with an attachment to Hayden before killing himself. The police start to think Hayden is acting suspiciously and always seem to be one step behind as the story moves along. Shane's sister arrives for her brother's funeral and gradually she and Hayden grow close. Hayden's parents have a small part to play but this is not expanded and they then disappear from the plot. Hayden and Rebecca's lives are in danger as the bad guys come after them. The body count increases and Hayden seems to get over multiple attacks incredibly quickly (reminded me of Bruce Willis or Arnie Schwarzenneger when they just keep getting up no matter what). With so much danger around them it was a little unbelievable that they would try and solve the mystery of all the deaths on their own and try and keep the police in the dark. That said I did enjoy the plot and there was a few good twists towards the end which I will leave to you to find out rather than throw in a spoiler here!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 February 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
His usual formula - the naive protagonists versus highly skilled bad guys. I rate it lower than my previous two reads for a couple of reasons - non really bad, but they crank the suspense down. In the other books the lead character was a family man, and the need to protect his loved ones created more fear and tension in the read. Here, Duke is a bachelor and the female character becomes his love interest, but she is an equal partner in the adventure, not someone to be shielded. I also reflect whether they are too naive. I have never been in a life-threatening danger as they face but I think, as a watcher of movies and reader of books, I'd twig that bugging was going on and I'd make copies of documents and distribute them to safe places, e.g. addressed to the CIA, inside an envelope addressed to myself "Post Restante". If I failed to pick up, the mail worker would open to find a return address and forward it. They are both quite reckless and too naive in this book.
On the other hand, it is still a gripping read. Danger lurks at every corner. Who can they trust? Good or bent cop? Will they make it? Yes, a good thriller.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 December 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The journey of this story follows Hayden Duke, a design contractor who has just got a contract via an old friend for a very secretive company and is based around the San Francisco part of the world. Cue some rather unlikely suicides and a chase to see what's going on. His old friend commits suicide, there's a love interest with the friend's sister and there's the risk of the world falling apart if Duke can't sort it out.

The first chapter was a terrible start written with a dialogue which I guess is meant to be cool and modern but was lost on me... thankfully the author remembered how to write after that so don't let that put you off. However, the story is for me too far fetched without being completely over the top (eg. Bond films) and would not in my view even make a great film.

The positive of this book is that it does keep the reader interested as you wonder what will happen next but having finished the book and reflected on it, there's too many open questions and problems. Without stating anything that would spoil the story, a victim's wife wouldn't jump into bed with a potential suspect just after the victim's suicide; the lack of knowledge of what a design contractor is making would seem a little far-fetched; the result of fights between a "normal" person and an ex-army character is surprising; the body count is too high.... no, the more I think about it the more i dislike this book. I will read the author's work again but I hope they're better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2014
Loved it! Twisting turning, a few red Herrings thrown in for good measure, struggled to put it down, have read a few Simon Wood books now and they have all been excellent reads, keeping you guessing till the (nearly) end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2014
A good suspense story which I read in one sitting (with one break). Simon Wood always creates a good story and this one ius no exception. Keeps you guessing until the end.
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Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a pacy thriller that has some good parts and some rather daft ones too!

The Prologue is a fast car chase, a bad teen looking for thrills and enjoying dangerous driving. This comes to a weird ending when the driver of the car he chases does something very unexpected. The blurb on the back of the book does give away that the driver commits suicide by walking into the ocean (It's California).
That is the lead into the main story.
The man who killed himself is Sundip Choudray , a design engineer at a company called MDE, that day Haydon Duke signs a contract to work for MDE. The work is classified and even his old friend and his now boss Shane Fallon seems to be in the dark about what exactly they are designing.
Some days later Shane emails Haydon a cryptic email telling him not to open the attachment. Haydon knows something is wrong and drives over but its too late, Shane is acting crazy and then kills himself.
The plot then develops with plenty of bad guys, and dead bodies. In some respects this novel is ok for a fast read, but it is predictable and the quality of the writing is patchy.
I don't think I want to read any more by this author. So it's only two stars from me on this one.
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Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This novel is a generic bio terror novel - it's ok but nothing special. The tale follows Hayden, employed on a classified project. Now $200 an hour for grunt work with a $10M confidentiality clause tells you something aint right!
Of course Hayden sees tweaking some diagrams as easy money... then comes two suicides - one of which is his college buddy who got him this gig.
What fallows is a good paint by numbers intellectual property thriller. Nothing jumps out at the reader - it is pretty predictable and whilst I enjoyed it i was never surprised.
The writing is good and keeps you reading but the character development is lacking - we find nothing out about the people involved and I found them instantly forgettable. The plot is lacklustre and unsurprising, I never once thought - Oh never saw that coming. It was an ok read but as with much I am getting for review lately its nothing special. We seem to be getting too much mediocrity published. Publishers seem to be aiming for quantity rather than quality these days and I find most published novels generic and boring. This is one of those.
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on 29 July 2015
There is a good whodunnit in here, but it's ruined by the simple premise that one cannot understand why the protagonists don't simply go to the police with what they know.There is a pretty lame "male hero was incorrectly busted by the police when he was a student" attempt at rationalising this, but most of the book comes across as a two-young-investigators fight valiantly for the truth kind of battle when at every step I was bemused why they didn't just tell the (apparently competent) detective what they had.
An unbelievable tale, twisted by an unbelievable "search for the truth".

I like Simon Wood's books, and I particularly like that he has a different set of characters in each one. I wish he had just tried to tell this story from the detective's angle, though. Too far fetched.
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