Top critical review
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A Decent Crime Thriller with Loads of Action
on 2 August 2014
As a fan of crime and thrillers I feel a bit bad that until now I had not read a Simon Kernick novel. I went into reading this with no expectations at all, a blank page, ready to be filled up with impressions.
Stay Alive kicks off rapidly with a bucket load of killing and action. We are off to a good start I was thinking. I like a book that kicks into first gear by the end of Chapter One. Hooked in, ready to rock and roll.
The book kicks off with Amanda Rowan being witness to her husband's murder as well as his lover, she rebuilds her life after this tragic event. The murder is pinned to a serial killer being hunted called The Disciple, well knows for his gruesome torture techniques and signature wall paintings that go with the death of his victims.
The police are on alert, looking for clues and DNA to find out who The Disciple is in order to catch him and stop his murdering rampage.
The book then flows into a complex storyline of Amanda escaping an attempted abduction and fleeing for her life in the woods of Scotland. This is where MANY characters start to come into play in the book and the plot focuses strongly on the chase to come. Amanda is not alone in the woods, innocent people have got caught up in the hunt for her.
I loved the pace of the book but found the woodland chasing scene went on a bit too long, it took up to much of the story for my liking, lots of detail that could have been cut shorter as I got the general idea already. There is only so much chasing that you can do. I was worn out just reading it!
I really liked some of the characters in this book, and was keen to see the outcome of the whole situation. It's one of those books where as you read you know you are missing something. You just know something is not adding up as it seems.
There is a lot of shooting, running, hiding and killing going on. If you like action it's all here. I did find some of the scenarios a bit distracting and almost not believable however, I can't share because of spoilers but it's like some of the plot is sidelined here and there, with frustrating snippets that don't seem connected.
I wasn't surprised with the reveal and the twists at the end, in fact I felt a bit let down, I wanted something a bit more spectacular. Overall I enjoyed this book, I liked the pace, but think it lacked some finesse as a crime thriller, there was way too much story in the middle set on the woodland chase.
It's one of those books I wanted to love more but it just didn't quite hit the spot. 3.5 stars, still a really good read, pace is fast, easy reading. I will certainly try some more of Simon Kernick's novels now.