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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 November 2013
I'll be honest and say that I really didn't think I was going to like this, just another American super spy takes on the world sort of book but what the hell, it was a chance to write a review about how predictable and 'average' it was.

Well, OK, I was wrong. For once the Americans weren't saving the world and the CIA weren't gods. I really felt that there was more truth in this novel than we usually get and the 'possibles' herein made this thriller not only thrilling but also frightening.This was not so much a book of black and white as a moral rainbow.

I loved that the three central characters were flawed and that they made there own journeys through the book.I get feeling that some of them will be back. I liked the way the author dealt with the faith issues and, in my opinion, had a real handle on the politicalization and corruption of the Catholic church.

I don't think I've ever read a high octane thriller that made me consider morality quite so much.
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on 1 February 2014
I'm going to be totally honest and say that when I first saw the blurb for this book I was totally dreading it! I'm not a huge fan of government or terrorism thrillers so I was a little dubious about starting.

This novel has quite a complex plot but the main premise is as follows:
One man is seeking revenge and justice for a huge CIA cover up that ended up killing innocent Americans after 9/11 because they were thought to be terrorists.
Father Lopez, a priest, has just found his brother brutally murdered and wants to find out who could do such a thing. He joins forces with Houston (she's a rogue CIA agent) and together they try to understand why one man is so hell bent on seeking retribution. What follows is a very fast paced plot about racing to save as many people as possible before it becomes too late...

I sat down with this book fully intending to read the first few chapters and then put it down and go to sleep. However, a quarter of the book later I was still wide awake, frantically turning the pages and unaware just how late it was getting! I adore books that have such a gripping narrative that everything else in the world becomes insignificant and unimportant because all that matters is the fictional world you are lost in.

Erec has really mastered the art of 'thrilling' writing and I was constantly on tenterhooks waiting to see what would happen next. There were a fair amount of gory and graphic scenes where people were being killed of tortured so that may be a little off putting for some, but I think the narrative needed it and ergo completely relevant.

This novel had the perfect pace and a smooth transition between scene to scene which was fantastic!

The only small thing I would have wanted more of in this book was character descriptions. The main characters (Lopez & Houston) were at the forefront of everything that was going on but at times I didn't feel like I knew them as much as I would have liked. A little bit of history about both characters and a few more detailed physical descriptions would have made all the difference. (However, I'm hoping Erec might write a sequel and we can then find out much more about them!)

I've learnt a lot from reading this novel. The main lesson is this: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!! I'm SO glad I picked this up and gave it a go and even though it's not something I would normally go for, it is something I thoroughly enjoyed and has made me excited about what Erec will write next!

A perfectly paced thriller that grabs your attention and won't let you go until you've turned the very last page.
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on 28 January 2014
“You just read a book and then write a review, this should be easy” I told myself when I was handed Erec Stebbins’ Extraordinary Retribution to read. The problem is it’s not easy especially when the book is as good as this one is. I could just give it 5 stars and write “Superb” underneath but this book deserves more, much more.

The 3 main characters, Father Francisco Lopez, Agent Sara Houston and “the Wraith” manage to portray the best and worst in all of us whilst the organisations they fight against prove the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Extraordinary Retribution is not a book about saving a person a nation or the world deep down it’s about saving our humanity. At a time when church attendances are at an all time low and people are becoming more aware of the extreme’s governments will go to in the name of national security it’s fitting that a flawed priest dealing with the loss of his brother and a crisis of faith finds himself helping a disillusioned CIA agent fight against a cartel of power brokers and an evil created by the country she is sworn to protect.

Stebbins has clearly thought about where he wants to take his readers and does so at breakneck speed. I was pulled from the first page to the last word by a thrilling tale which at times, beautifully, blurred the line between protagonist and antagonist of how the more extreme actions in the fight against terrorism could backfire against the perpetrators.

A fantastic read which I hope the author will follow up on.
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I'm relatively new to this genre, so I haven't read a lot of books with similar themes, but I was very intrigued by the description of Extraordinary Retribution and wanted to know more. Wanting to track down his brother's killer, Father Lopez joins up with a rogue CIA Agent, and together they begin to uncover a conspiracy, but it soon becomes very dangerous and it may cost them greatly...

I was quickly drawn into what develops into a very fast paced book. I didn't want to put it down even for a second because I was so hooked to what I was reading. My heart was pounding and although I had tried to guess what would happen, I wasn't prepared for what followed.

The descriptions were great - I could constantly imagine what was happening and I actually think that this story would make a great movie. It has everything in it - a gripping plot line, lifelike characters and building tension as they move deeper into danger.

Extraordinary Retribution is a thrilling novel full of action, suspense and will have you sat up late at night determined to get to the final page.
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on 16 September 2014
From the first page to the climax the story unfolds at an unrelenting pace. The three main characters are sufficiently well drawn to enable us to empathise with them without the author distracting the reader with too much unnecessary details about them. Lopez, Houston and the Wraith are all warriors in the war against government corruption and crimes against humanity, with the proviso that one seeks revenge whilst the others need to obtain justice.
The story unfolds so rapidly the reader is swept along oblivious to the passage of time and the need to get on with daily tasks. It takes a strong force of will to put the book down before getting to the climax. The book will obviously make a terrific all action film, plenty of explosions, gun fights and unarmed combat scenes, ferocious car chases, huge chunks of technology and gizmos -- one is breathless at their recall. Houston, the beautiful blond secret agant, will be a sought after role, as will Lopez, the priest dragged into the chaos as many other characters are eliminated.
Hugely recommended, the author is a master of this type of story.
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on 16 May 2015
Extraordinary Retribution
A definite page turner once half way through. A fairly credible secret service(s) story infused with cruelty and romance about powerful people who are corrupt. Come -uppance is always satisfying and this happens after weaving a long trail of the results of abuse of power. The main uncorrupt pair are likeable and their characters very highly easy to visualise.
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on 10 November 2014
A violent - sometimes gruesome - tale of revenge and dark-dealings. The 'black ops unit gone bad' angle isn't exactly new but the 'wraith' who's trying to settle some debts was different.
This is a world that you hope doesn't really exist... even if you have suspicions that there might be some people (like Dick Cheney) who might actually have this kind of mindset.
Overall, it was quite entertaining (3* is a bit mean but I couldn't quite bring myself to give it 4*). Some of the main characters weren't really that plausible - particularly the wraith.
Reads like a Hollywood blockbuster.
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on 1 April 2015
This was excellent. An interesting concept, turning the whole concept of rendition on it's head. And it does make you wonder, is something like this possible? Not necessarily the success of the avenging angel, but the primal motivation behind it. Who knows. I would heartily recommend this book to fellow readers. This is my first Erec Stebbins book, and I'm going to buy more
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on 18 September 2015
So nearly a 5 star book, fast paced and thrilling. Just felt that the transformation from Priest to killer happened rather quickly and was hard to relate to. Wraith character is the star of this book - a degree of truth I suspect in the way this character was formed.
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on 25 February 2015
If you like the novels of Vince Flynn, Andy McNab, or Chris Ryan then I'm pretty sure you'll like this fast paced, exciting thriller by Erec Stebbins. A writer who gets on with the story and tells a good one at that, it was one of the best thrillers I've read for a while.
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